Oct 24, 2018

LEM domain proteins control the efficiency of adaptation through copy number variation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Paolo ColombiMegan C King


While loss of genome integrity is at the basis of numerous pathologies, including cancer, genome plasticity is necessary to adapt to a changing environment and thus is essential for long-term organismal success. Here we present data supporting a targeted mechanism that promotes adaptation to environmental stress by driving site-specific genome instability tied to transcriptional induction and the formation of RNA-DNA hybrids. Using an in vitro evolution assay we observe that the inner nuclear membrane LEM domain proteins Heh1 and Heh2 play antagonistic roles in inhibiting or promoting adaptation through copy number expansion, respectively, which is also reflected in their genetic interaction networks with genes responsible for transcription-dependent genome instability. Taken together, our data suggest the existence of a LEM domain protein-mediated mechanism by which an immediate transcriptional response to a changing environment drives targeted genome instability to promote increased variation on which selection can act to support long-term adaptation.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Inner Nuclear Membrane
LEM protein, mouse
Transcription, Genetic
DNA-like RNA
Cell Growth

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