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Genetics. 2001 Dec;159(4):1449-65.

Multiple regulators of Ty1 transposition in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have conserved roles in genome maintenance.

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  • 1Molecular Genetics Program, Wadsworth Center and School of Public Health, State University of New York, Albany, New York 12201-2002, USA.


Most Ty1 retrotransposons in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are transpositionally competent but rarely transpose. We screened yeast mutagenized by insertion of the mTn3-lacZ/LEU2 transposon for mutations that result in elevated Ty1 cDNA-mediated mobility, which occurs by cDNA integration or recombination. Here, we describe the characterization of mTn3 insertions in 21 RTT (regulation of Ty1 transposition) genes that result in 5- to 111-fold increases in Ty1 mobility. These 21 RTT genes are EST2, RRM3, NUT2, RAD57, RRD2, RAD50, SGS1, TEL1, SAE2, MED1, MRE11, SCH9, KAP122, and 8 previously uncharacterized genes. Disruption of RTT genes did not significantly increase Ty1 RNA levels but did enhance Ty1 cDNA levels, suggesting that most RTT gene products act at a step after mRNA accumulation but before cDNA integration. The rtt mutations had widely varying effects on integration of Ty1 at preferred target sites. Mutations in RTT101 and NUT2 dramatically stimulated Ty1 integration upstream of tRNA genes. In contrast, a mutation in RRM3 increased Ty1 mobility >100-fold without increasing integration upstream of tRNA genes. The regulation of Ty1 transposition by components of fundamental pathways required for genome maintenance suggests that Ty1 and yeast have coevolved to link transpositional dormancy to the integrity of the genome.

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