Reference: Park ZM, et al. (2023) Kar4 is required for the normal pattern of meiotic gene expression. PLoS Genet 19(8):e1010898

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Abstract


Kar4p, the yeast homolog of the mammalian methyltransferase subunit METTL14, is required for efficient mRNA m6A methylation, which regulates meiotic entry. Kar4p is also required for a second seemingly non-catalytic function during meiosis. Overexpression of the early meiotic transcription factor, IME1, can bypass the requirement for Kar4p in meiotic entry but the additional overexpression of the translational regulator, RIM4, is required to permit sporulation in kar4Δ/Δ. Using microarray analysis and RNA sequencing, we sought to determine the impact of removing Kar4p and consequently mRNA methylation on the early meiotic transcriptome in a strain background (S288c) that is sensitive to the loss of early meiotic regulators. We found that kar4Δ/Δ mutants have a largely wild type transcriptional profile with the exception of two groups of genes that show delayed and reduced expression: (1) a set of Ime1p-dependent early genes as well as IME1, and (2) a set of late genes dependent on the mid-meiotic transcription factor, Ndt80p. The early gene expression defect is likely the result of the loss of mRNA methylation and is rescued by overexpressing IME1, but the late defect is only suppressed by overexpression of both IME1 and RIM4. The requirement for RIM4 led us to predict that the non-catalytic function of Kar4p, like methyltransferase complex orthologs in other systems, may function at the level of translation. Mass spectrometry analysis identified several genes involved in meiotic recombination with strongly reduced protein levels, but with little to no reduction in transcript levels in kar4Δ/Δ after IME1 overexpression. The low levels of these proteins were rescued by overexpression of RIM4 and IME1, but not by the overexpression of IME1 alone. These data expand our understanding of the role of Kar4p in regulating meiosis and provide key insights into a potential mechanism of Kar4p's later meiotic function that is independent of mRNA methylation.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Authors
Park ZM, Remillard M, Belnap E, Rose MD
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