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Genes Dev. 2001 Apr 15;15(8):955-67.

Conversion of a gene-specific repressor to a regional silencer.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, gene silencing at the HMR and HML loci is normally dependent on Sir2p, Sir3p, and Sir4p, which are structural components of silenced chromatin. Sir2p is a NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase required for silencing. Silencing can be restored in cells lacking Sir proteins by a dominant mutation in SUM1, which normally acts as a mitotic repressor of meiotic genes. This study found that mutant Sum1-1p, but not wild-type Sum1p, associated directly with HM loci. The origin recognition complex (ORC) was required for Sum1-1p-mediated silencing, and mutations in ORC genes reduced association of Sum1-1p with the HM loci. Sum1-1p-mediated silencing also depended on HST1, a paralog of SIR2. Both Sum1-1p and wild-type Sum1p interacted with Hst1p in coimmunoprecipitation experiments. Therefore, the SUM1-1 mutation did not change the affinity of Sum1p for Hst1p, but rather relocalized Sum1p to the HM loci. Sum1-1-Hst1p action led to hypoacetylation of the nucleosomes at HM loci. Thus, Sum1-1p and Hst1p could substitute for Sir proteins to achieve silencing through formation of a compositionally distinct type of heterochromatin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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