Establishment and maintenance of a heterochromatin domain

Hall, I. M., Shankaranarayana, G. D., Noma, K. I., Ayoub, N., Cohen, A., Grewal, S. I. S. (September 2002) Establishment and maintenance of a heterochromatin domain. Science, 297 (5590). pp. 2232-2237. ISSN 0036-8075

DOI: 10.1126/science.1076466


The higher-order assembly of chromatin imposes structural organization on the genetic information of eukaryotes and is thought to be largely determined by posttranslational modification of histone tails. Here, we study a 20-kilobase silent domain at the mating-type region of fission yeast as a model for heterochromatin formation. We find that, although histone H3 methylated at lysine 9 (H3 Lys9) directly recruits heterochromatin protein Swi6/HP1, the critical determinant for H3 Lys9 methylation to spread in cis and to be inherited through mitosis and meiosis is Swi6 itself. We demonstrate that a centromere-homologous repeat (cenH) present at the silent mating-type region is sufficient for heterochromatin formation at an ectopic site, and that its repressive capacity is mediated by components of the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery. Moreover, cenH and the RNAi machinery cooperate to nucleate heterochromatin assembly at the endogenous mat locus but are dispensable for its subsequent inheritance. This work defines sequential requirements for the initiation and propagation of regional heterochromatic domains.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alleles Cell Cycle Proteins/genetics/metabolism Centromere Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone/metabolism Crosses, Genetic DNA, Fungal/*genetics Endoribonucleases/genetics/metabolism Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology *Gene Silencing Heterochromatin/*metabolism Histone Deacetylases/antagonists & inhibitors/metabolism Histones/metabolism Hydroxamic Acids/pharmacology Methylation *Methyltransferases Models, Genetic Mutation RNA Replicase/genetics/metabolism RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics/metabolism RNA, Fungal/*genetics/metabolism RNA, Small Nuclear/genetics/metabolism *Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid Ribonuclease III Schizosaccharomyces/*genetics/metabolism Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins/genetics/metabolism
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > Chromatin dynamics > heterochromatin
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Grewal lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 27 September 2002
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 17:52
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2014 14:03
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving