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Cell. 2007 Nov 16;131(4):706-17.

Antisense RNA stabilization induces transcriptional gene silencing via histone deacetylation in S. cerevisiae.

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Department of Cell Biology, Sciences III, University of Geneva, 30 Quai E. Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Genome-wide studies in S. cerevisiae reveal that the transcriptome includes numerous antisense RNAs as well as intergenic transcripts regulated by the exosome component Rrp6. We observed that upon the loss of Rrp6 function, two PHO84 antisense transcripts are stabilized, and PHO84 gene transcription is repressed. Interestingly, the same phenotype is observed in wild-type cells during chronological aging. Epistasis and chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that the loss of Rrp6 function is paralleled by the recruitment of Hda1 histone deacetylase to PHO84 and neighboring genes. However, histone deacetylation is restricted to PHO84, suggesting that Hda1 activity depends on antisense RNA. Accordingly, the knockdown of antisense production prevents PHO84 gene repression, even in the absence of Rrp6. Together, our data indicate that the stabilization of antisense transcripts results in PHO84 gene repression via a mechanism distinct from transcription interference and that the modulation of Rrp6 function contributes to gene regulation by inducing RNA-dependent epigenetic modifications.

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