N(6)-methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most ubiquitous mRNA base modification, but little is known about its precise location, temporal dynamics, and regulation. Here, we generated genomic maps of m(6)A sites in meiotic yeast transcripts at nearly single-nucleotide resolution, identifying 1,308 putatively methylated sites within 1,183 transcripts. We validated eight out of eight methylation sites in different genes with direct genetic analysis, demonstrated that methylated sites are significantly conserved in a related species, and built a model that predicts methylated sites directly from sequence. Sites vary in their methylation profiles along a dense meiotic time course and are regulated both locally, via predictable methylatability of each site, and globally, through the core meiotic circuitry. The methyltransferase complex components localize to the yeast nucleolus, and this localization is essential for mRNA methylation. Our data illuminate a conserved, dynamically regulated methylation program in yeast meiosis and provide an important resource for studying the function of this epitranscriptomic modification.
STEREO is a novel algorithm that discovers cis-regulatory RNA interactions by assembling complete and potentially overlapping same-strand RNA transcripts from tiling expression data. STEREO first identifies coherent segments of transcription and then discovers individual transcripts that are consistent with the observed segments given intensity and shape constraints. We used STEREO to identify 1446 regions of overlapping transcription in two strains of yeast, including transcripts that comprise a new form of molecular toggle switch that controls gene variegation.
We generated a high-resolution whole-genome sequence and individually deleted 5100 genes in Sigma1278b, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain closely related to reference strain S288c. Similar to the variation between human individuals, Sigma1278b and S288c average 3.2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms per kilobase. A genome-wide comparison of deletion mutant phenotypes identified a subset of genes that were conditionally essential by strain, including 44 essential genes unique to Sigma1278b and 13 unique to S288c. Genetic analysis indicates the conditional phenotype was most often governed by complex genetic interactions, depending on multiple background-specific modifiers. Our comprehensive analysis suggests that the presence of a complex set of modifiers will often underlie the phenotypic differences between individuals.
For the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nutrient limitation is a key developmental signal causing diploid cells to switch from yeast-form budding to either foraging pseudohyphal (PH) growth or meiosis and sporulation. Prolonged starvation leads to lineage restriction, such that cells exiting meiotic prophase are committed to complete sporulation even if nutrients are restored. Here, we have identified an earlier commitment point in the starvation program. After this point, cells, returned to nutrient-rich medium, entered a form of synchronous PH development that was morphologically and genetically indistinguishable from starvation-induced PH growth. We show that lineage restriction during this time was, in part, dependent on the mRNA methyltransferase activity of Ime4, which played separable roles in meiotic induction and suppression of the PH program. Normal levels of meiotic mRNA methylation required the catalytic domain of Ime4, as well as two meiotic proteins, Mum2 and Slz1, which interacted and co-immunoprecipitated with Ime4. This MIS complex (Mum2, Ime4, and Slz1) functioned in both starvation pathways. Together, our results support the notion that the yeast starvation response is an extended process that progressively restricts cell fate and reveal a broad role of post-transcriptional RNA methylation in these decisions.
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