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Genetics. 2000 Nov;156(3):983-94.

A fission yeast repression element cooperates with centromere-like sequences and defines a mat silent domain boundary.

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Department of Molecular Biology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


REII is a Schizosaccharomyces pombe repression element located at the centromere-proximal end of the mat silent domain. Here we show that inversion of REII enhances silencing on its centromere-proximal side while suppressing silencing on its centromere-distal side. Transplacement of REII to a position 2.5 kb from its native locus extends the region of stringent repression to the new REII site. These results suggest that REII defines a mat silent domain boundary by acting preferentially toward its centromere-distal side. To investigate cooperation between REII and a K-region sequence that shares homology with the centromeric dg dh repeats (cen2 homology), we targeted combinations of these elements to an ectopic site and monitored expression of an adjacent reporter gene. Centromeric dh-like sequences conferred low-level silencing on the adjacent reporter gene, and REII, which did not display silencing activity on its own, enhanced cen2 homology-mediated silencing. Cooperation was also apparent at the mat locus, where deletion of REII impaired repression stability. We propose that REII and the cen2 homology play different yet complementary roles in silencing establishment and inheritance at the mat locus.

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