Yeast mitochondrial transcript and gene product abundance has been observed to increase upon release from glucose repression, but the mechanism of regulation of this process has not been determined. We report a kinetic analysis of this phenomenon, which demonstrates that the abundance of all classes of mitochondrial RNA changes slowly relative to changes observed for glucose-repressed nuclear genes. Several cell doublings are required to achieve the 2- to 20-fold-higher steady-state levels observed after a shift to a nonrepressing carbon source. Although we observed that in some yeast strains the mitochondrial DNA copy number also increases upon derepression, this does not seem to play the major role in increased RNA abundance. Instead we found that three- to sevenfold increases in RNA synthesis rates, measured by in vivo pulse-labelling experiments, do correlate with increased transcript abundance. We found that mutations in the SNF1 and REG1 genes, which are known to affect the expression of many nuclear genes subject to glucose repression, affect derepression of mitochondrial transcript abundance. These genes do not appear to regulate mitochondrial transcript levels via regulation of the nuclear genes RPO41 and MTF1, which encode the subunits of the mitochondrial RNA polymerase. We conclude that a nuclear gene-controlled factor(s) in addition to the two RNA polymerase subunits must be involved in glucose repression of mitochondrial transcript abundance.
T. L. Ulery, S. Jang, J. Jaehning
Molecular and Cellular Biology