Inheritance of gene expression states is fundamental for cells to 'remember' past events, such as environmental or developmental cues. The conserved Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) maintains epigenetic repression of many genes in animals and plants and modifies chromatin at its targets. Histones modified by PRC2 can be inherited through cell division. However, it remains unclear whether this inheritance can direct long-term memory of individual gene expression states (cis memory) or instead if local chromatin states are dictated by the concentrations of diffusible factors (trans memory). By monitoring the expression of two copies of the Arabidopsis Polycomb target gene FLC in the same plants, we show that one copy can be repressed while the other is active. Furthermore, this 'mixed' expression state is inherited through many cell divisions as plants develop. These data demonstrate that epigenetic memory of FLC expression is stored not in trans but in cis.
- Daniel Zilberman, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2015, Berry et al.
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Displacement loops (D-loops) are critical intermediates formed during homologous recombination. Rdh54 (a.k.a. Tid1), a Rad54 paralog in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is well-known for its role with Dmc1 recombinase during meiotic recombination. Yet contrary to Dmc1, Rdh54/Tid1 is also present in somatic cells where its function is less understood. While Rdh54/Tid1 enhances the Rad51 DNA strand invasion activity in vitro, it is unclear how it interplays with Rad54. Here, we show that Rdh54/Tid1 inhibits D-loop formation by Rad51 and Rad54 in an ATPase-independent manner. Using a novel D-loop Mapping Assay, we further demonstrate that Rdh54/Tid1 uniquely restricts the length of Rad51-Rad54-mediated D-loops. The alterations in D-loop properties appear to be important for cell survival and mating-type switch in haploid yeast. We propose that Rdh54/Tid1 and Rad54 compete for potential binding sites within the Rad51 filament, where Rdh54/Tid1 acts as a physical roadblock to Rad54 translocation, limiting D-loop formation and D-loop length.
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