[NSI +]: a novel non-Mendelian nonsense suppressor determinant in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Abstract

Non-Mendelian determinants that control heritable traits in yeast are subdivided into two major groups—one that includes DNA- or RNA-based elements and another that comprises protein-based factors that are analogous to mammalian prion. All yeast non-Mendelian determinants show dominant inheritance, and some of them demonstrate cytoplasmic infectivity. Only prions, however, harbor-specific features, such as high frequency of induction following overproduction of prion-encoding protein, loss of the protein’s normal function, and reversible curability. Here, we describe a novel nonchromosomal determinant that, in addition to [PSI +] and [ISP +], is involved in epigenetic control of nonsense suppression. This determinant, which we have designated [NSI +], causes nonsense suppression in the strains bearing the N-terminal-deleted or -modified SUP35 gene, but has no manifestation in the strains with the intact copy of SUP35. [NSI +] shows dominant non-Mendelian inheritance, reversible curability and may be transmitted by cytoduction, albeit with low frequency. Similar to yeast prions, this determinant can be cured by deletion or mutational inactivation of Hsp104. We have shown that [NSI +] does not correspond to the already identified yeast prions. Based on the data obtained, we hypothesize that [NSI +] is a novel prion factor involved in epigenetic control of nonsense suppression.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Y. Chernoff for kindly providing pRS315-SUP35MC plasmid and Y. Pavlov for kindly providing yeast strains. We thank N. Degtyareva and L. Mironova for critical reading of the manuscript, S. Zadorskii, Y. Sopova, A. Zhouk and A. Borchsenius for helpful discussion. This work was supported by grants of Russian Foundation for Basic Research 07-04-00873 to A. P. G, 10-04-00395-a, program of presidium of Russian Academy of Science 08-12 to S. G. I.-V., Ministry of Education and Science FTP “Academic and teaching staff of innovative Russia” to A. A. R. and St. Petersburg government 2.6/04-05/122 to A. A. N.

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Correspondence to Alexey P. Galkin.

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A. F. Saifitdinova and A. A. Nizhnikov contributed equally to this work.

Communicated by S. Liebman.

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Saifitdinova, A.F., Nizhnikov, A.A., Lada, A.G. et al. [NSI +]: a novel non-Mendelian nonsense suppressor determinant in Saccharomyces cerevisiae . Curr Genet 56, 467–478 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00294-010-0314-2

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Keywords

  • Yeast
  • Non-Mendelian determinant
  • Prion
  • Nonsense suppression
  • Sup35