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Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Jul 27;45(13):7708-7721. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx373.

The chromatin remodeling complex Swi/Snf regulates splicing of meiotic transcripts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Despite its relatively streamlined genome, there are important examples of regulated RNA splicing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, such as splicing of meiotic transcripts. Like other eukaryotes, S. cerevisiae undergoes a dramatic reprogramming of gene expression during meiosis, including regulated splicing of a number of crucial meiosis-specific RNAs. Splicing of a subset of these is dependent upon the splicing activator Mer1. Here we show a crucial role for the chromatin remodeler Swi/Snf in regulation of splicing of meiotic genes and find that the complex affects meiotic splicing in two ways. First, we show that Swi/Snf regulates nutrient-dependent downregulation of ribosomal protein encoding RNAs, leading to the redistribution of spliceosomes from this abundant class of intron-containing RNAs (the ribosomal protein genes) to Mer1-regulated transcripts. We also demonstrate that Mer1 expression is dependent on Snf2, its acetylation state and histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation at the MER1 locus. Hence, Snf2 exerts systems level control of meiotic gene expression through two temporally distinct mechanisms, demonstrating that it is a key regulator of meiotic splicing in S. cerevisiae. We also reveal an evolutionarily conserved mechanism whereby the cell redirects its energy from maintaining its translational capacity to the process of meiosis.

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