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Mol Cell. 2012 Mar 30;45(6):790-800. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.01.024. Epub 2012 Mar 8.

Inheritance of silent rDNA chromatin is mediated by PARP1 via noncoding RNA.

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Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


Faithful propagation of specific chromatin states requires re-establishment of epigenetic marks after every cell division. How the original epigenetic signature is inherited after disruption during DNA replication is still poorly understood. Here, we show that the poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase-1 (PARP1/ARTD1) is implicated in the maintenance of silent rDNA chromatin during cell division. We demonstrate that PARP1 associates with TIP5, a subunit of the NoRC complex, via the noncoding pRNA and binds to silent rRNA genes after their replication in mid-late S phase. PARP1 represses rRNA transcription and is implicated in the formation of silent rDNA chromatin. Silent rDNA chromatin is a specific substrate for ADP-ribosylation and the enzymatic activity of PARP1 is necessary to establish rDNA silencing. The data unravel a function of PARP1 and ADP-ribosylation that serves to allow for the inheritance of silent chromatin structures, shedding light on how epigenetic marks are transmitted during each cell cycle.

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