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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 1;277(44):41736-43. Epub 2002 Aug 27.

General regulatory factors (GRFs) as genome partitioners.

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  • 1CNRS/ENSL 5665, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 Allée d'Italie, France.


Insulators are sequences that uncouple adjacent chromosome domains. Here we have shown that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rap1p and Abf1p proteins are endowed with a potent insulating capacity. Insulating domains in Rap1p coincide with previously described transcription activation domains, whereas four adjacent subdomains spanning the whole of the Abf1p C terminus (440-731) were found to display autonomous insulating capacity. That both Rap1p and Abf1p silencing domains either contain or largely overlap with an insulating domain suggests that insulation conveys some undefined chromosome organization capacity that also contributes a function in silencing. Together with Reb1p and Tbf1p, previously involved in the activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae subtelomeric insulators, insulating potential emerges as a supplementary common property of General Regulatory Factors (GRFs). Thus GRFs, which bind to sites scattered throughout the genome within promoters, would not only play a key role in regulating gene expression but also partition the genome in functionally independent domains.

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