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Plant Cell. 2007 Aug;19(8):2403-16. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

A WD40 domain cyclophilin interacts with histone H3 and functions in gene repression and organogenesis in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Chromatin-based silencing provides a crucial mechanism for the regulation of gene expression. We have identified a WD40 domain cyclophilin, CYCLOPHILIN71 (CYP71), which functions in gene repression and organogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Disruption of CYP71 resulted in ectopic activation of homeotic genes that regulate meristem development. The cyp71 mutant plants displayed dramatic defects, including reduced apical meristem activity, delayed and abnormal lateral organ formation, and arrested root growth. CYP71 was associated with the chromatin of target gene loci and physically interacted with histone H3. The cyp71 mutant showed reduced methylation of H3K27 at target loci, consistent with the derepression of these genes in the mutant. As CYP71 has close homologs in eukaryotes ranging from fission yeast to human, we propose that it serves as a highly conserved histone remodeling factor involved in chromatin-based gene silencing in eukaryotic organisms.

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