Data_Sheet_2_A GRX1 Promoter Variant Confers Constitutive Noisy Bimodal Expression That Increases Oxidative Stress Resistance in Yeast.PDF

Higher noise in the expression of stress-related genes was previously shown to confer better resistance in selective conditions. Thus, evolving the promoter of such genes toward higher transcriptional noise appears to be an attractive strategy to engineer microbial strains with enhanced stress resistance. Here we generated hundreds of promoter variants of the GRX1 gene involved in oxidative stress resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and created a yeast library by replacing the native GRX1 promoter by these variants at the native locus. An outlier clone with very strong increase in noise (6-times) at the same mean expression level as the native strain was identified whereas the other noisiest clones were only 3-times increased. This variant provides constitutive bimodal expression and consists in 3 repeated but differently mutated copies of the GRX1 promoter. In spite of the multi-factorial oxidative stress-response in yeast, replacement of the native promoter by this variant is sufficient alone to confer strongly enhanced resistance to H2O2 and cumene hydroperoxide. New replacement of this variant by the native promoter in the resistant strain suppresses the resistance. This work shows that increasing noise of target genes in a relevant strategy to engineer microbial strains toward better stress resistance. Multiple promoter replacement could synergize the effect observed here with the sole GRX1 promoter replacement. Finally this work suggests that combining several mutated copies of the target promoter could allow enhancing transcriptional-mediated noise at higher levels than mutating a single copy by providing constitutive bimodal and highly heterogeneous expression distribution.