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Plasmid. 2008 Jan;59(1):45-53. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Transcriptional homogenization of rDNA repeats in the episome-based nucleolus induces genome-wide changes in the chromosomal distribution of condensin.

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  • 1NIH, NICHD, Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Development, 18T Library Drive, Room 106, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Condensin activity establishes and maintains mitotic chromosome condensation, however the mechanisms of condensin recognition of specific chromosomal sites remain unknown. rDNA is the chief condensin binding locus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the level of nucleolar transcription is one of the key factors determining condensin loading to the nucleolar organizer. A new aspect of this transcriptional control is demonstrated in cells with a diffuse (episomal) nucleolar organizer, where active transcription excludes condensin from the transcribed regions of rDNA. Genome-wide ChIP-chip analysis showed that these cells acquire an altered and a more robust pattern of chromosomal condensin distribution, with increased enrichment of wild-type hotspots and with emergence of new sites, most notably in the subtelomeric regions. This genome-wide condensin relocalization induced by the increase in rDNA transcription and, possibly, nucleolar architecture uncovers a novel potential role of the nucleolus in the general chromosome organization.

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