Differentiating the Male Germ Line

Science's STKE  08 Nov 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 309, pp. tw395
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3092005tw395

The TATA box-binding protein (TBP) is a conserved transcription factor that binds to the core promoter, and TBP-associated factors, or TAFs, represent one of several classes of coactivators that participate in transcription activation. The presence of varied TAFs allows for plasticity in function for transcribing specific genes. For example, several testis-specific TAFs function in regulating gene expression in Drosophila spermatogenesis. Chen et al. now find that in the male germ line, tissue-specific TAFs regulate gene expression by counteracting the repressive effect of Polycomb protein complexes to allow terminal differentiation. The testis TAFs sequester Polycomb-containing complexes to the nucleolus, which suggests that subnuclear localization functions in regulating transcription.

X. Chen, M. Hiller, Y. Sancak, M. T. Fuller, Tissue-specific TAFs counteract polycomb to turn on terminal differentiation. Science 310, 869-872 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]