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Genetics. 2002 Apr;160(4):1401-7.

Domains of gene silencing near the left end of chromosome III in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, USA. xbi@unlserve.unl.edu


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the HM loci and regions adjacent to the telomeres are transcriptionally silent. HML is situated 11 kb from the left telomere of chromosome III. I have systematically examined gene silencing along this 11-kb chromosomal region. I found that silencing extends at least 1.1 kb beyond HML, indicating that the HML E silencer acts on both sides. Moreover, I obtained evidence indicating that a 0.71-kb sequence near the E silencer acts as a barrier to the spread of silencing and coincides with the left boundary of the silent HML domain. I also showed that silencing at the telomere is limited to an approximately 2-kb domain. On the other hand, an approximately 7-kb region between HML and the telomere is not silenced by HML or the telomere. These results provide a clear example of organization of the eukaryotic genome into interspersed domains with distinct potentials for gene expression.

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