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A regulatory circuit of two lncRNAs and a master regulator directs cell fate in yeast

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2020 by Fabien Moretto, N Ezgi Wood, Gavin Kelly, Andreas Doncic, Folkert J van Werven
Transcription of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulates local gene expression in eukaryotes. Many examples of how a single lncRNA controls the expression of an adjacent or nearby protein-coding gene have been described. Here we examine the regulation of a locus consisting of two contiguous lncRNAs and the master regulator for entry into yeast meiosis, IME1. We find that the cluster of two lncRNAs together with several transcription factors form a regulatory circuit by which IME1 controls its own promoter and thereby promotes its own expression. Inhibition or stimulation of this unusual feedback circuit affects timing and rate of IME1 accumulation, and hence the ability for cells to enter meiosis. Our data demonstrate that orchestrated transcription through two contiguous lncRNAs promotes local gene expression and determines a critical cell fate decision.