Reprogramming mRNA Expression in Response to Defect in RNA Polymerase III Assembly in the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 7;22(14):7298. doi: 10.3390/ijms22147298.


The coordinated transcription of the genome is the fundamental mechanism in molecular biology. Transcription in eukaryotes is carried out by three main RNA polymerases: Pol I, II, and III. One basic problem is how a decrease in tRNA levels, by downregulating Pol III efficiency, influences the expression pattern of protein-coding genes. The purpose of this study was to determine the mRNA levels in the yeast mutant rpc128-1007 and its overdose suppressors, RBS1 and PRT1. The rpc128-1007 mutant prevents assembly of the Pol III complex and functionally mimics similar mutations in human Pol III, which cause hypomyelinating leukodystrophies. We applied RNAseq followed by the hierarchical clustering of our complete RNA-seq transcriptome and functional analysis of genes from the clusters. mRNA upregulation in rpc128-1007 cells was generally stronger than downregulation. The observed induction of mRNA expression was mostly indirect and resulted from the derepression of general transcription factor Gcn4, differently modulated by suppressor genes. rpc128-1007 mutation, regardless of the presence of suppressors, also resulted in a weak increase in the expression of ribosome biogenesis genes. mRNA genes that were downregulated by the reduction of Pol III assembly comprise the proteasome complex. In summary, our results provide the regulatory links affected by Pol III assembly that contribute differently to cellular fitness.

Keywords: RNA polymerase; gene expression; yeast.

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / genetics
  • Humans
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase III / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics
  • Transcriptome / genetics
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rbs1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA, Transfer
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • RNA Polymerase III
  • Rpc19p protein, S cerevisiae