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Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Jul;23(14):2770-81. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-02-0095. Epub 2012 May 23.

H4K16 acetylation affects recombination and ncRNA transcription at rDNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Roma La Sapienza, 00185 Rome, Italy.


Transcription-associated recombination is an important process involved in several aspects of cell physiology. In the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, RNA polymerase II transcription-dependent recombination has been demonstrated among the repeated units. In this study, we investigate the mechanisms controlling this process at the chromatin level. On the basis of a small biased screening, we found that mutants of histone deacetylases and chromatin architectural proteins alter both the amount of Pol II-dependent noncoding transcripts and recombination products at rDNA in a coordinated manner. Of interest, chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses in these mutants revealed a corresponding variation of the histone H4 acetylation along the rDNA repeat, particularly at Lys-16. Here we provide evidence that a single, rapid, and reversible posttranslational modification-the acetylation of the H4K16 residue-is involved in the coordination of transcription and recombination at rDNA.

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