RRC ID 64254
Author Nakagawa T, Okita AK.
Title Transcriptional silencing of centromere repeats by heterochromatin safeguards chromosome integrity.
Journal Curr Genet
Abstract The centromere region of chromosomes consists of repetitive DNA sequences, and is, therefore, one of the fragile sites of chromosomes in many eukaryotes. In the core region, the histone H3 variant CENP-A forms centromere-specific nucleosomes that are required for kinetochore formation. In the pericentromeric region, histone H3 is methylated at lysine 9 (H3K9) and heterochromatin is formed. The transcription of pericentromeric repeats by RNA polymerase II is strictly repressed by heterochromatin. However, the role of the transcriptional silencing of the pericentromeric repeats remains largely unclear. Here, we focus on the chromosomal rearrangements that occur at the repetitive centromeres, and highlight our recent studies showing that transcriptional silencing by heterochromatin suppresses gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs) at centromeres in fission yeast. Inactivation of the Clr4 methyltransferase, which is essential for the H3K9 methylation, increased GCRs with breakpoints located in centromeric repeats. However, mutations in RNA polymerase II or the transcription factor Tfs1/TFIIS, which promotes restart of RNA polymerase II following its backtracking, reduced the GCRs that occur in the absence of Clr4, demonstrating that heterochromatin suppresses GCRs by repressing the Tfs1-dependent transcription. We also discuss how the transcriptional restart gives rise to chromosomal rearrangements at centromeres.
Volume 65(5)
Pages 1089-1098
Published 2019-10-1
DOI 10.1007/s00294-019-00975-x
PII 10.1007/s00294-019-00975-x
PMID 30997531
MeSH Centromere / genetics* Chromosomal Instability Chromosomes* Gene Silencing* Heterochromatin / genetics* Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid* Schizosaccharomyces / genetics Transcription, Genetic* Transcriptional Activation Translocation, Genetic