This study identifies transcriptional regulation of stress response element (STRE) genes in space in the model eukaryotic organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To determine transcription-factor dependence, gene expression changes in space were examined in strains bearing green fluorescent protein–tagged (GFP-tagged) reporters for YIL052C (Sfp1 dependent with stress), YST-2 (Sfp1/Rap1 dependent with stress), or SSA4 (Msn4 dependent with stress), along with strains of SSA4-GFP and YIL052C-GFP with individual deletions of the Msn4 or Sfp1.
When compared to parallel ground controls, spaceflight induces significant gene expression changes in SSA4 (35% decrease) and YIL052C (45% decrease), while expression of YST-2 (0.08% decrease) did not change. In space, deletion of Sfp1 reversed the SSA4 gene expression effect (0.00% change), but Msn4 deletion yielded a similar decrease in SSA4 expression (34% change), which indicates that SSA4 gene expression is dependent on the Sfp1 transcription factor in space, unlike other stresses. For YIL052C, deletion of Sfp1 reversed the effect (0.01% change), and the Msn4 deletion maintained the decrease in expression (30% change), which indicates that expression of YIL052C is also dependent on Sfp1 in space. Spaceflight has selective and specific effects on SSA4 and YIL052C gene expression, indicated by novel dependence on Sfp1.
Astrobiology. December 2008, 8(6): 1071-1078.