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Second Path to Silence

Science's STKE  29 Jun 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 239, pp. tw235-TW235
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2392004TW235

Certain parts of the genome of eukaryotes are packaged into "silent"' heterochromatin. The formation of specific regions of heterochromatin in fission yeast, Arabidopsis, and Drosophila involves the RNA interference machinery. Jia et al. now show that in fission yeast, the binding of either of a pair of transcription factors, Atf1 and Pcr1, in the mating-type region acts in a parallel pathway of heterochromatin nucleation. The analysis links Atf1 and Pcr1, which are members of the ATF/CREB family of proteins involved in cellular response to environmental stresses, to nucleation of constitutive heterochromatin.

S. Jia, K. Noma, S. I. S. Grewal, RNAi-independent heterochromatin nucleation by the stress-activated ATF/CREB family proteins. Science 304, 1971-1976 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]