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Mol Cell. 2013 Sep 12;51(5):647-61. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.08.022.

The aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein ring1B combine to regulate active promoters in quiescent lymphocytes.

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Gene Regulation and Chromatin Group, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College, Hammersmith Campus, London W12 0NN, UK.


Reversible cellular quiescence is critical for developmental processes in metazoan organisms and is characterized by a reduction in cell size and transcriptional activity. We show that the Aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein Ring1B have essential roles in regulating transcriptionally active genes in quiescent lymphocytes. Ring1B and Aurora B bind to a wide range of active promoters in resting B and T cells. Conditional knockout of either protein results in reduced transcription and binding of RNA Pol II to promoter regions and decreased cell viability. Aurora B phosphorylates histone H3S28 at active promoters in resting B cells as well as inhibiting Ring1B-mediated ubiquitination of histone H2A and enhancing binding and activity of the USP16 deubiquitinase at transcribed genes. Our results identify a mechanism for regulating transcription in quiescent cells that has implications for epigenetic regulation of the choice between proliferation and quiescence.

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