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Genes Dev. 1994 May 1;8(9):1087-105.

Large-scale analysis of gene expression, protein localization, and gene disruption in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8103.


We have developed a large-scale screen to identify genes expressed at different times during the life cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and to determine the subcellular locations of many of the encoded gene products. Diploid yeast strains containing random lacZ insertions throughout the genome have been constructed by transformation with a mutagenized genomic library. Twenty-eight hundred transformants containing fusion genes expressed during vegetative growth and 55 transformants containing meiotically induced fusion genes have been identified. Based on the frequency of transformed strains producing beta-galactosidase, we estimate that 80-86% of the yeast genome (excluding the rDNA) contains open reading frames expressed in vegetative cells and that there are 93-135 meiotically induced genes. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis of 2373 strains carrying fusion genes expressed in vegetative cells has identified 245 fusion proteins that localize to discrete locations in the cell, including the nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, cytoplasmic dots, spindle pole body, and microtubules. The DNA sequence adjacent to the lacZ gene has been determined for 91 vegetative fusion genes whose products have been localized and for 43 meiotically induced fusions. Although most fusions represent genes unidentified previously, many correspond to known genes, including some whose expression has not been studied previously and whose products have not been localized. For example, Sec21-beta-gal fusion proteins yield a Golgi-like staining pattern, Ty1-beta-gal fusion proteins localize to cytoplasmic dots, and the meiosis-specific Mek1/Mre4-beta-gal and Spo11-beta-gal fusion proteins reside in the nucleus. The phenotypes in haploid cells have been analyzed for 59 strains containing chromosomal fusion genes expressed during vegetative growth; 9 strains fail to form colonies indicating that the disrupted genes are essential. Fifteen additional strains display slow growth or are impaired for growth on specific media or in the presence of inhibitors. Of 39 meiotically induced fusion genes examined, 14 disruptions confer defects in spore formation or spore viability in homozygous diploids. Our results will allow researchers who identify a yeast gene to determine immediately whether that gene is expressed at a specific time during the life cycle and whether its gene product localizes to a specific subcellular location.

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