It is widely accepted that transcriptional regulation of eukaryotic genes is intimately coupled to covalent modifications of the underlying chromatin template, and in certain cases the functional consequences of these modifications have been characterized. Here we present evidence that gene activation in the silent heterochromatin of the yeast Saccharomyces… (More)
Chromatin is thought to repress transcription by limiting access of the DNA to transcription factors. Using a yeast heat shock gene flanked by mating-type silencers as a model system, we find that repressive, SIR-generated heterochromatin is permissive to the constitutive binding of an activator, HSF, and two components of the preinitiation complex (PIC),… (More)
Heterochromatin contributes to the dynamic range of eukaryotic gene expression. In yeast, its ability to suppress transcription is inversely proportional to activator strength. A recent study reveals that Sir silencing proteins enhance the avidity with which nucleosomes assemble, endowing heterochromatin with both repressive and dynamic characteristics.
The tumor suppressor p53 principally functions as a gene-specific transcription factor. p53 triggers a variety of anti-proliferative programs by activating or repressing the transcription of effector genes in response to genotoxic stress. To date, much effort has been placed on understanding p53's ability to affect transcription in the context of its… (More)
This special issue of Genetics Research International is dedicated to transcription elongation and the role that it plays in the control of gene expression. As K. Brannan and D. Bentley highlight in their retrospective review, 30 years after the first examples of gene control during transcription elongation were described, the importance of this step of the… (More)