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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Jul;40(12):5271-82. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks166. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Tye7 regulates yeast Ty1 retrotransposon sense and antisense transcription in response to adenylic nucleotides stress.

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CNRS UPR9073, associated with Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut de Biologie Physico-chimique, F-75005 Paris, France.


Transposable elements play a fundamental role in genome evolution. It is proposed that their mobility, activated under stress, induces mutations that could confer advantages to the host organism. Transcription of the Ty1 LTR-retrotransposon of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is activated in response to a severe deficiency in adenylic nucleotides. Here, we show that Ty2 and Ty3 are also stimulated under these stress conditions, revealing the simultaneous activation of three active Ty retrotransposon families. We demonstrate that Ty1 activation in response to adenylic nucleotide depletion requires the DNA-binding transcription factor Tye7. Ty1 is transcribed in both sense and antisense directions. We identify three Tye7 potential binding sites in the region of Ty1 DNA sequence where antisense transcription starts. We show that Tye7 binds to Ty1 DNA and regulates Ty1 antisense transcription. Altogether, our data suggest that, in response to adenylic nucleotide reduction, TYE7 is induced and activates Ty1 mRNA transcription, possibly by controlling Ty1 antisense transcription. We also provide the first evidence that Ty1 antisense transcription can be regulated by environmental stress conditions, pointing to a new level of control of Ty1 activity by stress, as Ty1 antisense RNAs play an important role in regulating Ty1 mobility at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional stages.

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