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Mol Cell. 2006 Jun 9;22(5):623-32.

General repression of RNA polymerase III transcription is triggered by protein phosphatase type 2A-mediated dephosphorylation of Maf1.

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Laboratoire de Transcription des Gènes, Service de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, CEA/Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.


We report genome-wide analyses that establish Maf1 as a general and direct repressor of yeast RNA polymerase (Pol) III transcription. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled to microarray hybridization experiments showed an increased association of Maf1 to Pol III-transcribed genes under repressing condition (rapamycin treatment) correlated with a dissociation of Brf1 and Pol III. Maf1 can exist in various phosphorylation states and interacts with Pol III in a dephosphorylated state. The largest subunit of Pol III, C160, was identified as a target of Maf1. Under repressing conditions, Maf1 is dephosphorylated and accumulates in the nucleus, and Pol III-Maf1 interaction increases. Mutations in protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit-encoding genes prevented rapamycin-induced Maf1 dephosphorylation, its nuclear accumulation, and repression of Pol III transcription. The results indicate that Pol III transcription can be globally and rapidly downregulated via dephosphorylation and relocation of a general negative cofactor.

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