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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Isolation and phenotypic analysis of conditional-lethal, linker-insertion mutations in the gene encoding the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Linker-insertion mutagenesis was used to isolate mutations in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene encoding the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPO21, also called RPB1). The mutant rpo21 alleles carried on a plamid were introduced into a haploid yeast strain that conditionally expresses RPO21 from the inducible promoter pGAL10. Growth of this strain on medium containing glucose is sustained only if the plasmid-borne rpo21 allele encodes a functional protein. Of nineteen linker-insertion alleles tested, five (rpo21-4 to -8) were found that impose a temperature-sensitive (ts) lethal phenotype on yeast cells. Four of these five ts alleles encode mutant proteins in which the site of insertion lies near one of the regions of the largest subunit that have been conserved during evolution. Two of the ts mutants (rpo21-4 and rpo21-7) display pleiotropic phenotypes, including an auxotrophy for inositol and a decreased proliferation rate at the permissive temperature. The functional relationship between RPO21 and RPO26, the gene encoding the 17.9 kDa subunit shared by RNA polymerases I, II, and III was investigated by determining the ability of increased dosage of RPO26 to suppress the ts phenotype imposed by rpo21-4 to -8. Suppression of the ts defect was specific for the rpo21-4 allele and was accompanied by co-suppression of the inositol auxotrophy. These results suggest that mutations in the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II can have profound effects on the expression of specific subsets of genes, such as those involved in the metabolism of inositol. In the rpo21-4 mutant, these pleiotropic phenotypes can be attributed to a defective interaction between the largest subunit and the RPO26 subunit of RNA polymerase II.[1]


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