A genome-wide screen of a yeast non-essential gene-deletion library was used to identify sick phenotypes due to oxygen deprivation. The screen provided a manageable list of 384 potentially novel as well as known oxygen responding (anoxia-survival) genes. The gene-deletion mutants were further assayed for sensitivity to ferrozine and cobalt to obtain a subset of 34 oxygen-responsive candidate genes including the known hypoxic gene activator, MGA2. With each mutant in this subset a plasmid based β-galactosidase assay was performed using the anoxic-inducible promoter from OLE1 gene, and 17 gene deletions were identified that inhibit induction under anaerobic conditions. Genetic interaction analysis for one of these mutants, the RNase-encoding POP2 gene, revealed synthetic sick interactions with a number of genes involved in oxygen sensing and response. Knockdown experiments for CNOT8, human homolog of POP2, reduced cell survival under low oxygen condition suggesting a similar function in human cells.
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