|Lab P.I./Group Leader:|
|Focus:||Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Genetics|
|Lab P.I./Group Leader:||Fred Winston|
|Research Experience:||All things yeast|
|Degree Earned:||Ph.D. Genetics|
|Lab P.I./Group Leader:|
|Degree Earned:||B.S. Biology|
|Other information:||If you're not part of the solution... you're part of the precipitate.|
1: Chromatin- and transcription-related factors repress transcription from within coding regions throughout the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome
PLoS Biology 6 e277 2008
Vanessa Cheung, Gordon Chua, Nizar N Batada, Christian R Landry, Stephen W Michnick, Tim R Hughes, Fred Winston
Previous studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have demonstrated that cryptic promoters within coding regions activate transcription in particular mutants. We have performed a comprehensive analysis of cryptic transcription in order to identify factors that normally repress cryptic promoters, to determine the amount of cryptic transcription genome-wide, and to study the potential for expression of genetic information by cryptic transcription. Our results show that a large number of factors that control chromatin structure and transcription are required to repress cryptic transcription from at least 1,000 locations across the S. cerevisiae genome. Two results suggest that some cryptic transcripts are translated. First, as expected, many cryptic transcripts contain an ATG and an open reading frame of at least 100 codons. Second, several cryptic transcripts are translated into proteins. Furthermore, a subset of cryptic transcripts tested is transiently induced in wild-type cells following a nutritional shift, suggesting a possible physiological role in response to a change in growth conditions. Taken together, our results demonstrate that, during normal growth, the global integrity of gene expression is maintained by a wide range of factors and suggest that, under altered genetic or physiological conditions, the expression of alternative genetic information may occur.
2: Spn1 regulates the recruitment of Spt6 and the Swi/Snf complex during transcriptional activation by RNA polymerase II
Molecular and Cellular Biology 28 1393 - 1403 2008
Lei Zhang, Aaron GL Fletcher, Vanessa Cheung, Fred Winston, Laurie A Stargell
We investigated the timing of the recruitment of Spn1 and its partner, Spt6, to the CYC1 gene. Like TATA binding protein and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII), Spn1 is constitutively recruited to the CYC1 promoter, although levels of transcription from this gene, which is regulated postrecruitment of RNAPII, are low. In contrast, Spt6 appears only after growth in conditions in which the gene is highly transcribed. Spn1 recruitment is via interaction with RNAPII, since an spn1 mutant defective for interaction with RNAPII is not targeted to the promoter, and Spn1 is necessary for Spt6 recruitment. Through a targeted genetic screen, strong and specific antagonizing interactions between SPN1 and genes encoding Swi/Snf subunits were identified. Like Spt6, Swi/Snf appears at CYC1 only after activation of the gene. However, Spt6 significantly precedes Swi/Snf occupancy at the promoter. In the absence of Spn1 recruitment, Swi/Snf is constitutively found at the promoter. These observations support a model whereby Spn1 negatively regulates RNAPII transcriptional activity by inhibiting recruitment of Swi/Snf to the CYC1 promoter, and this inhibition is abrogated by the Spn1-Spt6 interaction. These findings link Spn1 functions to the transition from an inactive to an actively transcribing RNAPII complex at a postrecruitment-regulated promoter.