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Genetics. 2002 Oct;162(2):633-45.

Restoration of silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by tethering of a novel Sir2-interacting protein, Esc8.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, CH-1211 Switzerland.


We previously described two classes of SIR2 mutations specifically defective in either telomeric/HM silencing (class I) or rDNA silencing (class II) in S. cerevisiae. Here we report the identification of genes whose protein products, when either overexpressed or directly tethered to the locus in question, can establish silencing in SIR2 class I mutants. Elevated dosage of SCS2, previously implicated as a regulator of both inositol biosynthesis and telomeric silencing, suppressed the dominant-negative effect of a SIR2-143 mutation. In a genetic screen for proteins that restore silencing when tethered to a telomere, we isolated ESC2 and an uncharacterized gene, (YOL017w), which we call ESC8. Both Esc2p and Esc8p interact with Sir2p in two-hybrid assays, and the Esc8p-Sir2 interaction is detected in vitro. Interestingly, Esc8p has a single close homolog in yeast, the ISW1-complex factor Ioc3p, and has also been copurified with Isw1p, raising the possibility that Esc8p is a component of an Isw1p-containing nucleosome remodeling complex. Whereas esc2 and esc8 deletion mutants alone have only marginal silencing defects, cells lacking Isw1p show a strong silencing defect at HMR but not at telomeres. Finally, we show that Esc8p interacts with the Gal11 protein, a component of the RNA pol II mediator complex.

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