Genes required for survival in microgravity revealed by genome-wide yeast deletion collections cultured during spaceflight.
Corey Nislow, Anna Y Lee, Patricia L Allen, Guri Giaever, Andrew Smith, Marinella Gebbia, Louis S Stodieck, Jeffrey S Hammond, Holly H Birdsall, Timothy G Hammond
Spaceflight is a unique environment with profound effects on biological systems including tissue redistribution and musculoskeletal stresses. However, the more subtle biological effects of spaceflight on cells and organisms are difficult to measure in a systematic, unbiased manner. Here we test the utility of the molecularly barcoded yeast deletion collection to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of microgravity on a model organism. We developed robust hardware to screen, in parallel, the complete collection of ~4800 homozygous and ~5900 heterozygous (including ~1100 single-copy deletions of essential genes) yeast deletion strains, each carrying unique DNA that acts as strain identifiers. We compared strain fitness for the homozygous and heterozygous yeast deletion collections grown in spaceflight and ground, as well as plus and minus hyperosmolar sodium chloride, providing a second additive stressor. The genome-wide sensitivity profiles obtained from these treatments were then queried for their similarity to a compendium of drugs whose effects on the yeast collection have been previously reported. We found that the effects of spaceflight have high concordance with the effects of DNA-damaging agents and changes in redox state, suggesting mechanisms by which spaceflight may negatively affect cell fitness.
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