Extreme overproduction of gratuitous proteins can overload cellular protein production resources, leading to growth defects, a phenomenon known as the protein burden/cost effect. Genetic screening in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has isolated several dubious ORFs whose deletions mitigated the protein burden effect, but individual characterization thereof has yet to be delineated. We found that deletion of the YJL175W ORF yielded an N-terminal deletion of Swi3, a subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, and partial loss of function of Swi3. The deletion mutant showed a reduction in transcription of genes encoding highly expressed, secreted proteins and an overall reduction in translation. Mutations in the chromatin remodeling complex could thus mitigate the protein burden effect, likely by reallocating residual cellular resources used to overproduce proteins. This cellular state might also be related to cancer cells, as they frequently harbor mutations in the SWI/SNF complex.
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