A genome-wide activity assessment of terminator regions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides a ″terminatome″ toolbox

ACS Synth Biol. 2013 Jun 21;2(6):337-47. doi: 10.1021/sb300116y. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


The terminator regions of eukaryotes encode functional elements in the 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR) that influence the 3'-end processing of mRNA, mRNA stability, and translational efficiency, which can modulate protein production. However, the contribution of these terminator regions to gene expression remains unclear, and therefore their utilization in metabolic engineering or synthetic genetic circuits has been limited. Here, we comprehensively evaluated the activity of 5302 terminator regions from a total of 5880 genes in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by inserting each terminator region downstream of the P TDH3 - green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene and measuring the fluorescent intensity of GFP. Terminator region activities relative to that of the PGK1 standard terminator ranged from 0.036 to 2.52, with a mean of 0.87. We thus could isolate the most and least active terminator regions. The activities of the terminator regions showed a positive correlation with mRNA abundance, indicating that the terminator region is a determinant of mRNA abundance. The least active terminator regions tended to encode longer 3'-UTRs, suggesting the existence of active degradation mechanisms for those mRNAs. The terminator regions of ribosomal protein genes tended to be the most active, suggesting the existence of a common regulator of those genes. The ″terminatome″ (the genome-wide set of terminator regions) thus not only provides valuable information to understand the modulatory roles of terminator regions on gene expression but also serves as a useful toolbox for the development of metabolically and genetically engineered yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (Phosphorylating) / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Phosphoglycerate Kinase / genetics
  • Phosphoglycerate Kinase / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Terminator Regions, Genetic / genetics*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (Phosphorylating)
  • TDH3 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Phosphoglycerate Kinase