Saccharomyces cerevisiae Robosomal-ProteinL37 is Endcoded by Duplicate Genes that are Differentially Expressed

Joanne Tornow, University of Southern Mississippi
George M. Santangelo, University of Southern Mississippi


A duplicate copy of the RPL37A gene (encoding ribosomal protein L37) was cloned and sequenced. The coding region of RPL37B is very similar to that of RPL37A, with only one conservative amino-acid difference. However, the intron and flanking sequences of the two genes are extremely dissimilar. Disruption experiments indicate that the two loci are not functionally equivalent: disruption of RPL37B was insignificant, but disruption of RPL37Aseverely impaired the growth rate of the cell. When both RPL37 loci are disrupted, the cell is unable to grow at all, indicating that rpL37 is an essential protein. The functional disparity between the two RPL37 loci could be explained by differential gene expression. The results of two experiments support this idea: gene fusion of RPL37A to a reporter gene resulted in six-fold higher mRNA levels than was generated by the same reporter gene fused to RPL37B, and a modest increase in gene dosage of RPL37B overcame the lack of a functional RPL37A gene.