Publications by authors named "Sandra L Dugas"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

TFIIIC binding sites function as both heterochromatin barriers and chromatin insulators in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Eukaryot Cell 2008 Dec 10;7(12):2078-86. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.

Chromosomal sites of RNA polymerase III (Pol III) transcription have been demonstrated to have "extratranscriptional" functions, as the assembled Pol III complex can act as chromatin boundaries or pause sites for replication forks, can alter nucleosome positioning or affect transcription of neighboring genes, and can play a role in sister chromatid cohesion. Several studies have demonstrated that assembled Pol III complexes block the propagation of heterochromatin-mediated gene repression. Here we show that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae tRNA genes (tDNAs) and even partially assembled Pol III complexes containing only the transcription factor TFIIIC can exhibit chromatin boundary functions both as heterochromatin barriers and as insulators to gene activation. Both the TRT2 tDNA and the ETC4 site which binds only the TFIIIC complex prevented an upstream activation sequence from activating the GAL promoters in our assay system, effectively acting as chromatin insulators. Additionally, when placed downstream from the heterochromatic HMR locus, ETC4 blocked the ectopic spread of Sir protein-mediated silencing, thus functioning as a barrier to repression. Finally, we show that TRT2 and the ETC6 site upstream of TFC6 in their natural contexts display potential insulator-like functions, and ETC6 may represent a novel case of a Pol III factor directly regulating a Pol II promoter. The results are discussed in the context of how the TFIIIC transcription factor complex may function to demarcate chromosomal domains in yeast and possibly in other eukaryotes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/EC.00128-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2593192PMC
December 2008

Requirement of Nhp6 proteins for transcription of a subset of tRNA genes and heterochromatin barrier function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Mol Cell Biol 2007 Mar 18;27(5):1545-57. Epub 2006 Dec 18.

Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Università degli Studi di Parma, Viale G.P. Usberti 23A, 43100 Parma, Italy.

A key event in tRNA gene (tDNA) transcription by RNA polymerase (Pol) III is the TFIIIC-dependent assembly of TFIIIB upstream of the transcription start site. Different tDNA upstream sequences bind TFIIIB with different affinities, thereby modulating tDNA transcription. We found that in the absence of Nhp6 proteins, the influence of the 5'-flanking region on tRNA gene transcription is dramatically enhanced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Expression of a tDNA bearing a suboptimal TFIIIB binding site, but not of a tDNA preceded by a strong TFIIIB binding region, was strongly dependent on Nhp6 in vivo. Upstream sequence-dependent stimulation of tRNA gene transcription by Nhp6 could be reproduced in vitro, and Nhp6 proteins were found associated with tRNA genes in yeast cells. We also show that both transcription and silencing barrier activity of a tDNA(Thr) at the HMR locus are compromised in the absence of Nhp6. Our data suggest that Nhp6 proteins are important components of Pol III chromatin templates that contribute both to the robustness of tRNA gene expression and to positional effects of Pol III transcription complexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00773-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1820459PMC
March 2007

Multiple bromodomain genes are involved in restricting the spread of heterochromatic silencing at the Saccharomyces cerevisiae HMR-tRNA boundary.

Genetics 2005 Nov 3;171(3):913-22. Epub 2005 Aug 3.

Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.

The transfer RNA gene downstream from the HMR locus in S. cerevisiae functions as part of a boundary (barrier) element that restricts the spread of heterochromatic gene silencing into the downstream region of chromosome III. A genetic screen for identifying additional genes that, when mutated, allow inappropriate spreading of silencing from HMR through the tRNA gene was performed. YTA7, a gene containing bromodomain and ATPase homologies, was identified multiple times. Previously, others had shown that the bromodomain protein Bdf1p functions to restrict silencing at yeast euchromatin-heterochromatin boundaries; therefore we deleted nonessential bromodomain-containing genes to test their effects on heterochromatin spreading. Deletion of RSC2, coding for a component of the RSC chromatin-remodeling complex, resulted in a significant spread of silencing at HMR. Since the bromodomain of YTA7 lacks a key tyrosine residue shown to be important for acetyllysine binding in other bromodomains, we confirmed that a GST-Yta7p bromodomain fusion was capable of binding to histones in vitro. Epistasis analysis suggests that YTA7 and the HMR-tRNA function independently to restrict the spread of silencing, while RSC2 may function through the tRNA element. Our results suggest that multiple bromodomain proteins are involved in restricting the propagation of heterochromatin at HMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.105.046938DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1456849PMC
November 2005

Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial and archaeal arsC gene sequences suggests an ancient, common origin for arsenate reductase.

BMC Evol Biol 2003 Jul 23;3:18. Epub 2003 Jul 23.

Department of Biological Sciences, SLU 10736, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA 70402, USA.

Background: The ars gene system provides arsenic resistance for a variety of microorganisms and can be chromosomal or plasmid-borne. The arsC gene, which codes for an arsenate reductase is essential for arsenate resistance and transforms arsenate into arsenite, which is extruded from the cell. A survey of GenBank shows that arsC appears to be phylogenetically widespread both in organisms with known arsenic resistance and those organisms that have been sequenced as part of whole genome projects.

Results: Phylogenetic analysis of aligned arsC sequences shows broad similarities to the established 16S rRNA phylogeny, with separation of bacterial, archaeal, and subsequently eukaryotic arsC genes. However, inconsistencies between arsC and 16S rRNA are apparent for some taxa. Cyanobacteria and some of the gamma-Proteobacteria appear to possess arsC genes that are similar to those of Low GC Gram-positive Bacteria, and other isolated taxa possess arsC genes that would not be expected based on known evolutionary relationships. There is no clear separation of plasmid-borne and chromosomal arsC genes, although a number of the Enterobacteriales (gamma-Proteobacteria) possess similar plasmid-encoded arsC sequences.

Conclusion: The overall phylogeny of the arsenate reductases suggests a single, early origin of the arsC gene and subsequent sequence divergence to give the distinct arsC classes that exist today. Discrepancies between 16S rRNA and arsC phylogenies support the role of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the evolution of arsenate reductases, with a number of instances of HGT early in bacterial arsC evolution. Plasmid-borne arsC genes are not monophyletic suggesting multiple cases of chromosomal-plasmid exchange and subsequent HGT. Overall, arsC phylogeny is complex and is likely the result of a number of evolutionary mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-3-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC183826PMC
July 2003