Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Genet. 2008 Apr;40(4):460-5. doi: 10.1038/ng.112. Epub 2008 Mar 23.

Newly identified prion linked to the chromatin-remodeling factor Swi1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Searle 5-474, 320 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


SWI/SNF, an evolutionarily conserved ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex, has an important role in transcriptional regulation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, SWI/SNF regulates the expression of approximately 6% of total genes through activation or repression. Swi1, a subunit of SWI/SNF, contains an N-terminal region rich in glutamine and asparagine, a notable feature shared by all characterized yeast prions--a group of unique proteins capable of self-perpetuating changes in conformation and function. Here we provide evidence that Swi1 can become a prion, [SWI+]. Swi1 aggregates in [SWI+] cells but not in nonprion cells. Cells bearing [SWI+] show a partial loss-of-function phenotype of SWI/SNF. [SW+] can be eliminated by guanidine hydrochloride treatment, HSP104 deletion or loss of Swi1. Moreover, we show [SWI+] is dominantly and cytoplasmically transmitted. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism of 'protein-only' inheritance that results in modification of chromatin-remodeling and, ultimately, global gene regulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (6)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central Icon for Faculty of 1000
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk