Antisense RNA has emerged as a crucial regulator of opposite-strand protein-coding genes in the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) category, but little is known about their dynamics and decay process in the context of a stress response. Antisense transcripts from the fission yeast fbp1 locus (fbp1-as) are expressed in glucose-rich conditions and anticorrelated with transcription of metabolic stress-induced lncRNA (mlonRNA) and mRNA on the sense strand during glucose starvation. Here, we investigate the localization and decay of antisense RNAs at fbp1 and other loci, and propose a model to explain the rapid switch between antisense and sense mlonRNA/mRNA transcription triggered by glucose starvation. We show that fbp1-as shares many features with mRNAs, such as a 5′-cap and poly(A)-tail, and that its decay partially depends upon Rrp6, a cofactor of the nuclear exosome complex involved in 3′–5′ degradation of RNA. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and polysome fractionation show that the majority of remaining fbp1-as localizes to the cytoplasm and binds to polyribosomes in glucose-rich conditions. Furthermore, fbp1-as and antisense RNA at other stress-responsive loci are promptly degraded via the cotranslational nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway. These results suggest NMD may potentiate the swift disappearance of antisense RNAs in response to cellular stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology