The anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil affects cell cycle regulators and potential regulatory long non-coding RNAs in yeast

Abstract : 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was isolated as an inhibitor of thymidylate synthase, which is important for DNA synthesis. The drug was later found to also affect the conserved 3'-5' exoribonuclease EXOSC10/Rrp6, a catalytic subunit of the RNA exosome that degrades and processes protein-coding and non-coding transcripts. Work on 5-FU's cytotoxicity has been focused on mRNAs and non-coding transcripts such as rRNAs, tRNAs and snoRNAs. However, the effect of 5-FU on long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which include regulatory transcripts important for cell growth and differentiation, is poorly understood. RNA profiling of synchronized 5-FU treated yeast cells and protein assays reveal that the drug specifically inhibits a set of cell cycle regulated genes involved in mitotic division, by decreasing levels of the paralogous Swi5 and Ace2 transcriptional activators. We also observe widespread accumulation of different lncRNA types in treated cells, which are typically present at high levels in a strain lacking EXOSC10/Rrp6. 5-FU responsive lncRNAs include potential regulatory antisense transcripts that form double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) with overlapping sense mRNAs. Some of these transcripts encode proteins important for cell growth and division, such as the transcription factor Ace2, and the RNA exosome subunit EXOSC6/Mtr3. In addition to revealing a transcriptional effect of 5-FU action via DNA binding regulators involved in cell cycle progression, our results have implications for the function of putative regulatory lncRNAs in 5-FU mediated cytotoxicity. The data raise the intriguing possibility that the drug deregulates lncRNAs/dsRNAs involved in controlling eukaryotic cell division, thereby highlighting a new class of promising therapeutical targets.
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Bingning Xie, Emmanuelle Becker, Igor Stuparevic, Maxime Wery, Ugo Szachnowski, et al.. The anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil affects cell cycle regulators and potential regulatory long non-coding RNAs in yeast. RNA Biology, Taylor & Francis, 2019, 16 (6), pp.727-741. ⟨10.1080/15476286.2019.1581596⟩. ⟨hal-02061954⟩

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