Post-transcriptional autoregulation of gene expression is common in bacteria but many fewer examples are known in eukaryotes. We used the yeast collection of genes fused to GFP as a rapid screen for examples of feedback regulation in ribosomal proteins by overexpressing a non-regulatable version of a gene and observing the effects on the expression of the GFP-fused version. We tested 95 ribosomal protein genes and found a wide continuum of effects, with 30% showing at least a 3-fold reduction in expression. Two genes, RPS22B and RPL1B, showed over a 10-fold repression. In both cases the cis-regulatory segment resides in the 5’ UTR of the gene as shown by placing that segment of the mRNA upstream of GFP alone and demonstrating it is sufficient to cause repression of GFP when the protein is over-expressed. Further analyses showed that the intron in the 5’ UTR of RPS22B is required for regulation, presumably because the protein inhibits splicing that is necessary for translation. The 5’ UTR of RPL1B contains a sequence and structure motif that is conserved in the binding sites of Rpl1 orthologs from bacteria to mammals, and mutations within the motif eliminate repression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number761
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


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