A New Member of the Sin3 Family of Corepressors Is Essential for Cell Viability and Required for Retroelement Propagation in Fission Yeast
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Tf1 is a long terminal repeat (LTR)-containing retrotransposon that propagates within the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. LTR-retrotransposons possess significant similarity to retroviruses and therefore serve as retrovirus models. To determine what features of the host cell are important for the proliferation of this class of retroelements, we screened for mutations in host genes that reduced the transposition activity of Tf1. We report here the isolation and characterization of pst1(+), a gene required for Tf1 transposition. The predicted amino acid sequence of Pst1p possessed high sequence homology with the Sin3 family of proteins, known for their interaction with histone deacetylases. However, unlike the SIN3 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, pst1(+) is essential for cell viability. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that Pst1p was localized in the nucleus. Consistent with the critical role previously reported for Sin3 proteins in the histone acetylation process, we found that the growth of the strain with the pst1-1 allele was supersensitive to the specific histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. However, our analysis of strains with the pst1-1 mutation was unable to detect any changes in the acetylation of specific lysines of histones H3 and H4 as measured in bulk chromatin. Interestingly, the pst1-1 mutant strain produced wild-type levels of Tf1-encoded proteins and cDNA, indicating that the defect in transposition occurred after reverse transcription. The results of immunofluorescence microscopy showed that the nuclear localization of the Tf1 capsid protein was disrupted in the strain with the pst1-1 mutation, indicating an important role of pst1(+) in modulating the nuclear import of Tf1 virus-like particles.
author list (cited authors)
Dang, V. D., Benedik, M. J., Ekwall, K., Choi, J., Allshire, R. C., & Levin, H. L.