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Annu Rev Genet. 2013;47:275-306. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-021313-173730. Epub 2013 Sep 4.

SIR proteins and the assembly of silent chromatin in budding yeast.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae provides a well-studied model system for heritable silent chromatin in which a histone-binding protein complex [the SIR (silent information regulator) complex] represses gene transcription in a sequence-independent manner by spreading along nucleosomes, much like heterochromatin in higher eukaryotes. Recent advances in the biochemistry and structural biology of the SIR-chromatin system bring us much closer to a molecular understanding of yeast silent chromatin. Simultaneously, genome-wide approaches have shed light on the biological importance of this form of epigenetic repression. Here, we integrate genetic, structural, and cell biological data into an updated overview of yeast silent chromatin assembly.

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