Comprehensive profiling of the fission yeast transcription start site activity during stress and media response

Malte Thodberg, Axel Thieffry, Jette Bornholdt, Mette Boyd, Christian Holmberg, Ajuna Azad, Christopher T. Workman, Yun Chen, Karl Ekwall, Olaf Nielsen, Albin Sandelin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is an attractive model organism for transcriptional and chromatin biology research. Such research is contingent on accurate annotation of transcription start sites (TSSs). However, comprehensive genome-wide maps of TSSs and their usage across commonly applied laboratory conditions and treatments for S. pombe are lacking. To this end, we profiled TSS activity genome-wide in S. pombe cultures exposed to heat shock, nitrogen starvation, hydrogen peroxide and two commonly applied media, YES and EMM2, using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE). CAGE-based annotation of TSSs is substantially more accurate than existing PomBase annotation; on average, CAGE TSSs fall 50-75 bp downstream of PomBase TSSs and co-localize with nucleosome boundaries. In contrast to higher eukaryotes, dispersed TSS distributions are not common in S. pombe. Our data recapitulate known S. pombe stress expression response patterns and identify stress- and media-responsive alternative TSSs. Notably, alteration of growth medium induces changes of similar magnitude as some stressors. We show a link between nucleosome occupancy and genetic variation, and that the proximal promoter region is genetically diverse between S. pombe strains. Our detailed TSS map constitutes a central resource for S. pombe gene regulation research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergky1227
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1671-1691
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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