Alterations of signaling pathways in response to chemical perturbations used to measure mRNA decay rates in yeast

Nichole Eshleman, Xiangxia Luo, Andrew Capaldi, J. Ross Buchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Assessing variations inmRNAstability typically involves inhibiting transcription either globally or in a gene-specific manner. Alternatively, mRNA pulse-labeling strategies offer a means to calculate mRNA stability without inhibiting transcription. However, key stress-responsive cell signaling pathways, which affect mRNA stability, may themselves be perturbed by the approaches used to measure mRNA stability, leading to artifactual results. Here, we have focused on common strategies to measure mRNA half-lives in yeast and determined that commonly used transcription inhibitors thiolutin and 1,10 phenanthroline inhibit TORC1 signaling, PKC signaling, and partially activate HOG signaling. Additionally, 4-thiouracil (4tU), a uracil analog used in mRNA pulse-labeling approaches, modestly induces P-bodies, mRNA-protein granules implicated in storage and decay of nontranslating mRNA. Thiolutin also induces P-bodies, whereas phenanthroline has no effect. Doxycycline, which controls "Tet On/Tet Off" regulatable promoters, shows no impact on the above signaling pathways or P-bodies. In summary, our data argues that broad-acting transcriptional inhibitors are problematic for determining mRNA half-life, particularly if studying the impacts of the TORC1, HOG, or PKC pathway on mRNA stability. Regulatable promoter systems are a preferred approach for individual mRNA half-life studies, with 4tU labeling representing a good approach to global mRNA half-life analysis, despite modestly inducing P-bodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Hog1
  • P-bodies
  • PKC
  • TORC1
  • mRNA decay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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