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Genetics. 1992 Jun;131(2):287-96.

The clr1 locus regulates the expression of the cryptic mating-type loci of fission yeast.

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NCI-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, ABL-Basic Research Program, Laboratory of Eukaryotic Gene Expression, Maryland 21702-1201.


The mat2-P and mat3-M loci of fission yeast contain respectively the plus (P) and minus (M) mating-type information in a transcriptionally silent state. That information is transposed from the mat2 or mat3 donor locus via recombination into the expressed mating-type locus (mat1) resulting in switching of the cellular mating type. We have identified a gene, named clr1 (for cryptic loci regulator), whose mutations allow expression of the mat2 and mat3 loci. clr1 mutants undergo aberrant haploid meiosis, indicative of transcription of the silent genes. Production of mRNA from mat3 is detectable in clr1 mutants. Furthermore, the ura4 gene inserted near mat3, weakly expressed in wild-type cells, is derepressed in clr1 mutants. The clr1 mutations also permit meiotic recombination in the 15-kb mat2-mat3 interval, where recombination is normally inhibited. The clr1 locus is in the right arm of chromosome II. We suggest that clr1 regulates silencing of the mat2 and mat3 loci, and participates in establishing the "cold spot" for recombination by organizing the chromatin structure of the mating-type region.

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