BACKGROUND: Ty1 is a long terminal repeat retrotransposon of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with a replication cycle similar to retrovirus replication. Structurally, Ty1 contains long terminal repeat (LTR) regions flanking the gag and pol genes that encode for the proteins that enable Ty1 mobility. Reverse transcriptase produces Ty1 complementary (c)DNA that can either be integrated back into the genome by integrase or recombined into the yeast genome through homologous recombination. The frequency of Ty1 mobility is temperature sensitive, with optimum activity occurring at 24-26°C.<br /><br />RESULTS: In this study, we identified two host genes that when deleted allow for high temperature Ty1 mobility: RFX1 and SML1. The protein products of these genes are both negative regulators of the enzyme ribonucleotide reductase, a key enzyme in regulating deoxyribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) levels in the cell. Processing of Ty1 proteins is defective at high temperature, and processing is not improved in either rfx1 or sml1 deletion strains. Ty1 mobility at high temperature is mediated by homologous recombination of Ty1 cDNA to Ty1 elements within the yeast genome. We quantified cDNA levels in wild type, rfx1 and sml1 deletion background strains at different temperatures. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that cDNA levels were not markedly different between the wild type and mutant strains as temperatures increased, indicating that the increased Ty1 mobility is not a result of increased cDNA synthesis in the mutant strains. Homologous recombination efficiency was increased in both rfx1 and sml1 deletion strains at high temperatures; the rfx1 deletion strain also had heightened homologous recombination efficiency at permissive temperatures. In the presence of the dNTP reducing agent hydroxyurea at permissive temperatures, Ty1 mobility was stimulated in the wild type and sml1 deletion strains but not in the rfx1 deletion strain. Mobility frequency was greatly reduced in all strains at high temperature. Deletion of the S-phase checkpoint pathway Dun1 kinase, which inactivates Sml1 and Rfx1, reduced Ty1 mobility at a range of temperatures.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: Levels of cellular dNTPs, as regulated by components of the S-phase checkpoint pathway, are a limiting factor in homologous recombination-mediated Ty1 mobility.
O’Donnell, J. P., Gehman, M., & Keeney, J. B. (2010). Regulators of ribonucleotide reductase inhibit Ty1 mobility in saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mobile DNA, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1759-8753-1-23