Coordination of tRNA transcription with export at nuclear pore complexes in budding yeast

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Abstract

tRNAs are encoded by RNA polymerase III-transcribed genes that reside at seemingly random intervals along the chromosomes of budding yeast. Existing evidence suggests that the genes congregate together at the nucleolus and/or centromeres. In this study, we re-examined spatial and temporal aspects of tRNA gene (tDNA) expression. We show that tDNA transcription fluctuates during cell cycle progression. In M phase, when tRNA synthesis peaks, tDNAs localize at nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Docking of a tDNA requires the DNA sequence of the contacted gene, nucleoporins Nup60 and Nup2, and cohesin. Characterization of mutants that block NPC localization revealed that docking is a consequence of elevated tDNA transcription. NPC-tDNA contact falters in the absence of the principal exportin of nascent tRNA, Los1, and genetic assays indicate that gating of tDNAs at NPCs favors cytoplasmic accumulation of functional tRNA. Collectively, the data suggest that tDNAs associate with NPCs to coordinate RNA polymerase III transcription with the nuclear export of pre-tRNA. The M-phase specificity of NPC contact reflects a regulatory mechanism that may have evolved, in part, to avoid collisions between DNA replication forks and transcribing RNA polymerase III machinery at NPCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-970
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • Cell cycle
  • Cohesin
  • Los1 exportin
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • RNA polymerase III
  • tRNA gene

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