The transcriptional inhibitor thiolutin blocks mRNA degradation in yeast

Yeast. 2008 Feb;25(2):85-92. doi: 10.1002/yea.1548.


Thiolutin is commonly used as a general inhibitor of transcription in yeast. It has been used to calculate mRNA decay rates by stopping the transcription and then determining the relative abundance of individual mRNAs at different times after inhibition. We report here that thiolutin is also an inhibitor of mRNA degradation, and thus its use can lead to miscalculations of mRNA half-lives. The inhibition of mRNA decay seems to affect the mRNA degradation pathway without impeding poly(A) shortening, given that the decay rate of total poly(A) amount is not reduced by thiolutin. Moreover, the thiolutin-dependent inhibition of mRNA degradation has variable effects on different functional groups of genes, suggesting that they use various degradation pathways for their mRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects*
  • Pyrrolidinones / pharmacology
  • RNA Stability / drug effects*
  • RNA, Fungal / genetics
  • RNA, Fungal / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics


  • Pyrrolidinones
  • RNA, Fungal
  • RNA, Messenger
  • acetopyrrothine