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Genome-wide bisulfite sensitivity profiling of yeast suggests bisulfite inhibits transcription
Segovia R, Mathew V, Tam AS & Stirling PC. Genome-wide bisulfite sensitivity profiling of yeast suggests bisulfite inhibits transcription. Mutat Res 821: 13-19, 2017.
Bisulfite, in the form of sodium bisulfite or metabisulfite, is used commercially as a food preservative. Bisulfite is used in the laboratory as a single-stranded DNA mutagen in epigenomic analyses of DNA methylation. Recently it has also been used on whole yeast cells to induce mutations in exposed single-stranded regions in vivo. To understand the effects of bisulfite on live cells we conducted a genome-wide screen for bisulfite sensitive mutants in yeast. Screening the deletion mutant array, and collections of essential gene mutants we define a genetic network of bisulfite sensitive mutants. Validation of screen hits revealed hyper-sensitivity of transcription and RNA processing mutants, rather than DNA repair pathways and follow-up analyses support a role in perturbation of RNA transactions. We propose a model in which bisulfite-modified nucleotides may interfere with transcription or RNA metabolism when used in vivo.