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DNA Repair (Amst). 2005 Apr 4;4(4):469-78. Epub 2005 Jan 8.

Transcript copy number of genes for DNA repair and translesion synthesis in yeast: contribution of transcription rate and mRNA stability to the steady-state level of each mRNA along with growth in glucose-fermentative medium.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Campus de Rabanales, edificio Severo Ochoa, planta 2a, Carretera Madrid-Cádiz Km 396-a, Universidad de Córdoba, 14071-Córdoba, Spain.


We quantitated the copy number of mRNAs (NTG1, NTG2, OGG1, APN1, APN2, MSH2, MSH6, REV3, RAD30) encoding different DNA repair enzymes and translesion-synthesis polymerases in yeast. Quantitations reported examine how the steady-state number of each transcript is modulated in association with the growth in glucose-fermentative medium, and evaluate the respective contribution of the rate of mRNA degradation and transcription initiation to the specific mRNA level profile of each gene. Each transcript displayed a unique growth-related profile, therefore altering the relative abundance of mRNAs coding for proteins with similar functions, as cells proceed from exponential to stationary phase. Nonetheless, as general trend, they exhibited maximal levels when cells proliferate rapidly and minimal values when cells cease proliferation. We found that previous calculations on the stability of the investigated mRNAs might be biased, in particular regarding those that respond to heat shock stress. Overall, the mRNAs experienced drastic increments in their stabilities in response to gradual depletion of essential nutrients in the culture. However, differences among the mRNA stability profiles suggest a dynamic modulation rather than a passive process. As general rule, the investigated genes were much more frequently transcribed during the fermentative growth than later during the diauxic arrest and the stationary phase, this finding conciliating low steady-state levels with increased mRNA stabilities. Interestingly, while the rate at which each gene is transcribed appeared as the only determinant of the number of mRNA copies at the exponential growth, later, when cell growth is arrested, the rate of mRNA degradation becomes also a key factor for gene expression. In short, our results raise the question of how important the respective contribution of transcription and mRNA stability mechanisms is for the steady-state profile of a given transcript, and how this contribution may change in response to nutrient-availability.

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