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Nat Genet. 1999 Nov;23(3):281-5.

Diverse and dynamic functions of the Sir silencing complex.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. leng@mit.edu


The yeast Sir protein complex has been implicated in transcriptional silencing and suppression of recombination. The Sir complex creates structured chromosomal domains at telomeres, silent mating-type loci and ribosomal DNA to invoke these functional states. Mechanistic insights into the function of Sir proteins implicate a range of activities in yeast, including repair of DNA double-strand breaks, regulation of the mitotic cell cycle, meiosis and ageing. I speculate that the Sir proteins may be capable of enzymatic modification of chromatin and other substrates, which enables them to carry out a broad range of cellular functions.

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