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Genetics. 2012 May;191(1):107-18. doi: 10.1534/genetics.111.136549. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Ribosome deficiency protects against ER stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 59 of the 78 ribosomal proteins are encoded by duplicated genes that, in most cases, encode identical or very similar protein products. However, different sets of ribosomal protein genes have been identified in screens for various phenotypes, including life span, budding pattern, and drug sensitivities. Due to potential suppressors of growth rate defects among this set of strains in the ORF deletion collection, we regenerated the entire set of haploid ribosomal protein gene deletion strains in a clean genetic background. The new strains were used to create double deletions lacking both paralogs, allowing us to define a set of 14 nonessential ribosomal proteins. Replicative life-span analysis of new strains corresponding to ORF deletion collection strains that likely carried suppressors of growth defects identified 11 new yeast replicative aging genes. Treatment of the collection of ribosomal protein gene deletion strains with tunicamycin revealed a significant correlation between slow growth and resistance to ER stress that was recapitulated by reducing translation of wild-type yeast with cycloheximide. Interestingly, enhanced tunicamycin resistance in ribosomal protein gene deletion mutants was independent of the unfolded protein response transcription factor Hac1. These data support a model in which reduced translation is protective against ER stress by a mechanism distinct from the canonical ER stress response pathway and further add to the diverse yet specific phenotypes associated with ribosomal protein gene deletions.

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