Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37944512
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.cell.2023.10.015
Cell 2023 Nov; 186(24): 5237-5253.e22
Here, we report the design, construction, and characterization of a tRNA neochromosome, a designer chromosome that functions as an additional, de novo counterpart to the native complement of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Intending to address one of the central design principles of the Sc2.0 project, the ∼190-kb tRNA neochromosome houses all 275 relocated nuclear tRNA genes. To maximize stability, the design incorporates orthogonal genetic elements from non-S. cerevisiae yeast species. Furthermore, the presence of 283 rox recombination sites enables an orthogonal tRNA SCRaMbLE system. Following construction in yeast, we obtained evidence of a potent selective force, manifesting as a spontaneous doubling in cell ploidy. Furthermore, tRNA sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics, nucleosome mapping, replication profiling, FISH, and Hi-C were undertaken to investigate questions of tRNA neochromosome behavior and function. Its construction demonstrates the remarkable tractability of the yeast model and opens up opportunities to directly test hypotheses surrounding these essential non-coding RNAs.