[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase (pol) III produces essential components of the biosynthetic machinery; therefore, its output is tightly coupled with the rate of cell growth and proliferation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Maf1 is an essential mediator of pol III repression in response to starvation. We demonstrate that a Maf1 ortholog is also used to restrain pol III activity in mouse and human cells. Mammalian Maf1 represses pol III transcription in vitro and in transfected fibroblasts. Furthermore, genetic deletion of Maf1 elevates pol III transcript expression, thus confirming the role of endogenous Maf1 as an inhibitor of mammalian pol III output. Maf1 is detected at chromosomal pol III templates in rodent and human cells. It interacts with pol III as well as its associated initiation factor TFIIIB and is phosphorylated in a serum-sensitive manner in vivo. These aspects of Maf1 function have been conserved between yeast and mammals and are therefore likely to be of fundamental importance in controlling pol III transcriptional activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase III (Pol III) produces essential components of the biosynthetic machinery, and therefore its activity is tightly coupled with cell growth and metabolism. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Maf1 is the only known global and direct Pol III transcription repressor which mediates numerous stress signals. Here we demonstrate that transcription regulation by Maf1 is not limited to stress but is important for the switch between fermentation and respiration. Under respiratory conditions, Maf1 is activated by dephosphorylation and imported into the nucleus. The transition from a nonfermentable carbon source to that of glucose induces Maf1 phosphorylation and its relocation to the cytoplasm. The absence of Maf1-mediated control of tRNA synthesis impairs cell viability in nonfermentable carbon sources. The respiratory phenotype of maf1-Delta allowed genetic suppression studies to dissect the mechanism of Maf1 action on the Pol III transcription apparatus. Moreover, in cells grown in a nonfermentable carbon source, Maf1 regulates the levels of different tRNAs to various extents. The differences in regulation may contribute to the physiological role of Maf1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report genome-wide analyses that establish Maf1 as a general and direct repressor of yeast RNA polymerase (Pol) III transcription. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled to microarray hybridization experiments showed an increased association of Maf1 to Pol III-transcribed genes under repressing condition (rapamycin treatment) correlated with a dissociation of Brf1 and Pol III. Maf1 can exist in various phosphorylation states and interacts with Pol III in a dephosphorylated state. The largest subunit of Pol III, C160, was identified as a target of Maf1. Under repressing conditions, Maf1 is dephosphorylated and accumulates in the nucleus, and Pol III-Maf1 interaction increases. Mutations in protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit-encoding genes prevented rapamycin-induced Maf1 dephosphorylation, its nuclear accumulation, and repression of Pol III transcription. The results indicate that Pol III transcription can be globally and rapidly downregulated via dephosphorylation and relocation of a general negative cofactor.