Most ribosomal proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are encoded by two paralogs that additively produce the optimal protein level for cell growth. Nonetheless, deleting one paralog of most ribosomal protein gene pairs results in a variety of phenotypes not observed when the other paralog is deleted. To determine whether paralog-specific phenotypes associated with deleting RPL7A or RPL7B stem from distinct functions or different levels of the encoded isoforms, the coding region and introns of one paralog, including an intron-embedded snoRNA (small nucleolar RNA) gene, were exchanged with that of the other paralog. Among mutants harboring a single native or chimeric RPL7 allele, expression from the RPL7A locus exceeded that from the RPL7B locus, and more Rpl7a was expressed from either locus than Rpl7b. Phenotypic differences in tunicamycin sensitivity, ASH1 mRNA localization, and mobility of the Ty1 retrotransposon were strongly correlated with Rpl7 and ribosome levels, but not with the Rpl7 or snoRNA isoform expressed. Although Ty1 RNA is cotranslationally localized, depletion of Rpl7 minimally affected synthesis of Ty1 Gag protein, but strongly influenced Ty1 RNA localization. Unlike the other processes studied, Ty1 cDNA accumulation was influenced by both the level and isoform of Rpl7 or snoRNA expressed. These cellular processes had different minimal threshold values for Rpl7 and ribosome levels, but all were functional when isoforms of either paralog were expressed from the RPL7A locus or both RPL7 loci. This study illustrates the broad range of phenotypes that can result from depleting ribosomes to different levels.
- RNA localization
- Ribosomal protein