Antisense transcription controls cell fate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Cell. 2006 Nov 17;127(4):735-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.09.038.


Entry into meiosis is a key developmental decision. We show here that meiotic entry in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is controlled by antisense-mediated regulation of IME4, a gene required for initiating meiosis. In MAT a/alpha diploids the antisense IME4 transcript is repressed by binding of the a1/alpha2 heterodimer at a conserved site located downstream of the IME4 coding sequence. MAT a/alpha diploids that produce IME4 antisense transcript have diminished sense transcription and fail to initiate meiosis. Haploids that produce the sense transcript have diminished antisense transcription and manifest several diploid phenotypes. Our data are consistent with transcription interference as a regulatory mechanism at the IME4 locus that determines cell fate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Dimerization
  • Diploidy
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal / genetics
  • Haploidy
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Antisense / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins