BMC Res Notes 2019 Mar 29;12(1):191. Epub 2019 Mar 29.
School of Biology, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9ST, UK.
Objectives: The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is predicted to encode ~ 200 proteins of < 100 amino acids, including a number of previously uncharacterised proteins that are found conserved in related Schizosaccharomyces species only. To begin an investigation of the function of four of these so-called microproteins (designated Smp1-Smp4), CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology was used to delete the corresponding genes in haploid fission yeast cells.
Results: None of the four microprotein-encoding genes was essential for viability, meiosis or sporulation, and the deletion cells were no more sensitive to a range of cell stressors than wild-type, leaving the function of the proteins unresolved. During CRISPR-Cas9 editing however, a number of strains were isolated in which additional sequences were inserted into the target loci at the Cas9 cut site. Sequencing of the inserts revealed these to be derived from the chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta, the source of the carrier DNA used in the S. pombe transformation.