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Nucleus. 2014 May-Jun;5(3):203-10. doi: 10.4161/nucl.29085. Epub 2014 May 8.

Gearing up chromatin: A role for chromatin remodeling during the transcriptional restart upon DNA damage.

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Department of Genetics; Erasmus Medical Centre; Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


During transcription, RNA polymerase may encounter DNA lesions, which causes stalling of transcription. To overcome the RNA polymerase blocking lesions, the transcribed strand is repaired by a dedicated repair mechanism, called transcription coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER). After repair is completed, it is essential that transcription restarts. So far, the regulation and exact molecular mechanism of this transcriptional restart upon genotoxic damage has remained elusive. Recently, three different chromatin remodeling factors, HIRA, FACT, and Dot1L, were identified to stimulate transcription restart after DNA damage. These factors either incorporate new histones or establish specific chromatin marks that will gear up the chromatin to subsequently promote transcription recovery. This adds a new layer to the current model of chromatin remodeling necessary for repair and indicates that this specific form of transcription, i.e., the transcriptional restart upon DNA damage, needs specific chromatin remodeling events.


DOT1l; FACT; HIRA; SPT16; chromatin remodeling; transcription coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER); transcription restart

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