Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Michael McAlear

Major

Biology (BIOL)

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The production of a mature functional ribosome requires the coordinated expression of three distinct regulons: the ribosomal protein (RP), the rRNA, and the rRNA and ribosome biogenesis (RRB) regulons. These regulons contain hundreds of genes that need to be regulated in response to changing environmental conditions. We have found a significant enrichment of immediately adjacent co-regulated gene pairs in the RRB and RP regulons. These gene pairs exhibit tighter transcriptional co-regulation to each other than to the rest of the genes of the regulon as a whole, demonstrating a phenomenon we have characterized as adjacent gene co-regulation (AGC). To further understand AGC, we have studied the co-regulated RRB gene pair MPP10 and MRX12, and we have demonstrated that MRX12 is regulated by the MPP10 promoter. Here we show that AGC is modular by creating a new co-regulated gene pair through moving MRX12 to a new locus. To further investigate the role of cis-regulatory sequences in AGC, we have mutated sequences in the promoter of MRX12, and found that the TATA-like element in the MRX12 promoter is not required to maintain AGC. We have also found that mutation of the Abf1p and Med8p binding sites in the MRX12 promoter abrogates AGC, suggesting novel roles for these proteins in the co-regulation of paired genes. Beyond understanding the way large sets of genes are transcriptionally co-regulated, understanding the molecular mechanisms of AGC also has important evolutionary significance.

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