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Science. 2005 Sep 2;309(5740):1581-4.

Recombination regulation by transcription-induced cohesin dissociation in rDNA repeats.

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  • 1National Institute for Basic Biology, SOKENDAI, School of Life Science, 38 Nishigonaka, Myodaijicho, Okazaki, 444-8585 Japan. koba@nibb.ac.jp


Organisms maintain ribosomal RNA gene repeats (rDNA) at stable copy numbers by recombination; the loss of repeats results in gene amplification. Here we report a mechanism of amplification regulation. We show that amplification is dependent on transcription from a noncoding bidirectional promoter (E-pro) within the rDNA spacer. E-pro transcription stimulates the dissociation of cohesin, a DNA binding protein complex that suppresses sister-chromatid-based changes in rDNA copy number. This transcription is regulated by the silencing gene, SIR2, and by copy number. Transcription-induced cohesin dissociation may be a general mechanism of recombination regulation.

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