RNA polymerase II CTD phospho-sites Ser5 and Ser7 govern phosphate homeostasis in fission yeast.

RNA (New York, N.Y.)

PubMedID: 26264592

Schwer B, Sanchez AM, Shuman S. RNA polymerase II CTD phospho-sites Ser5 and Ser7 govern phosphate homeostasis in fission yeast. RNA. 2015;.
Phosphorylation of the tandem YSPTSPS repeats of the RNA polymerase II CTD inscribes an informational code that orchestrates eukaryal mRNA synthesis. Here we interrogate the role of the CTD in phosphate homeostasis in fission yeast. Expression of Pho1 acid phosphatase, which is repressed during growth in phosphate-rich medium and induced by phosphate starvation, is governed strongly by CTD phosphorylation status, but not by CTD repeat length. Inability to place a Ser7-PO4 mark (as in S7A) results in constitutive derepression of Pho1 expression in phosphate-replete medium. In contrast, indelible installation of a Ser7-PO4 mimetic (as in S7E) hyper-represses Pho1 in phosphate-replete cells and inhibits Pho1 induction during starvation. Pho1 phosphatase is derepressed by ablation of the CTD Ser5-PO4 mark, achieved either by mutating Ser5 in all consensus heptads to alanine, or replacing all Pro6 residues with alanine. We find that Ser5 status is a tunable determinant of Pho1 regulation, i. e. , serial decrements in the number of consensus Ser5 heptads from seven to two elicits a progressive increase in Pho1 expression in phosphate-replete medium. Pho1 is also derepressed by hypomorphic mutations of the CTD kinase Cdk9. Inactivation of the CTD phosphatase Ssu72 attenuates Pho1 induction in wild-type cells and blocks Pho1 derepression in S7A cells. These experiments implicate Ser5, Pro6, and Ser7 as component letters of a CTD coding "word" that transduces a repressive transcriptional signal via serine phosphorylation.