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Genes Dev. 2004 Apr 1;18(7):794-804. Epub 2004 Apr 1.

RNase-sensitive DNA modification(s) initiates S. pombe mating-type switching.

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  • 1Marie Curie Research Institute, The Chart, Oxted, Surrey RH8 0TL, UK.


Mating-type switching in fission yeast depends on an imprint at the mat1 locus. Previous data showed that the imprint is made in the DNA strand replicated as lagging. We now identify this imprint as an RNase-sensitive modification and suggest that it consists of one or two RNA residues incorporated into the mat1 DNA. Formation of the imprint requires swi1- and swi3-dependent pausing of the replication fork. Interestingly, swi1 and swi3 mutations that abolish pausing do not affect the use of lagging-strand priming site during replication. We show that the pausing of replication and subsequent formation of the imprint occur after the leading-strand replication complex has passed the site of the imprint and after lagging-strand synthesis has initiated at this proximal priming site. We propose a model in which a swi1- and swi3-dependent signal during lagging-strand synthesis leads to pausing of leading-strand replication and the introduction of the imprint.

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