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Adjustable under-expression of yeast mating pathway proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a programmed ribosomal frameshift

  • Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology
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Experimental research in molecular biology frequently relies on the promotion or suppression of gene expression, an important tool in the study of its functions. Although yeast is among the most studied model systems with the ease of maintenance and manipulation, current experimental methods are mostly limited to gene deletion, suppression or overexpression of genes. Therefore, the ability to reduce protein expressions and then observing the effects would promote a better understanding of the exact functions and their interactions. Reducing protein expression is mainly limited by the difficulties associated with controlling the reduction level, and in some cases, the initial endogenous abundance is too low. For the under-expression to be useful as an experimental tool, repeatability and stability of reduced expression is important. We found that cis-elements in programmed −1 ribosomal frameshifting (−1RFS) of beet western yellow virus (BWYV) could be utilized to reduced protein expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The two main advantages of using −1RFS are adjustable reduction rates and ease of use. To demonstrate the utility of this under-expression system, examples of reduced protein abundance were shown using yeast mating pathway components. The abundance of MAP kinase Fus3 was reduced to approximately 28–75 % of the wild-type value. Other MAP kinase mating pathway components, including Ste5, Ste11, and Ste7, were also under-expressed to verify that the −1RFS system works with different proteins. Furthermore, reduced Fus3 abundance altered the overall signal transduction outcome of the mating pathway, demonstrating the potential for further studies of signal transduction adjustment via under-expression.

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This study was supported by grants from NRF of Korea (NRF-2012R1A1A2009248 and NRF-2015R1D1A1A09057063) to S.-H.P. We thank Prof. Yang-Gyun Kim (Sungkyunkwan University) for providing BWYV frameshift element vectors. We appreciate Park Lab members for helpful discussion and comments.

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Correspondence to Sang-Hyun Park.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Choi, MY., Park, SH. Adjustable under-expression of yeast mating pathway proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using a programmed ribosomal frameshift. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 100, 4997–5005 (2016).

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