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Analysis of small RNA in fission yeast; centromeric siRNAs are potentially generated through a structured RNA
Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences. Karolinska Institutet.
University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK / Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Karolinska Institutet.
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2009 (English)In: EMBO Journal, ISSN 0261-4189, E-ISSN 1460-2075, Vol. 28, no 24, 3832-3844 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The formation of heterochromatin at the centromeres in fission yeast depends on transcription of the outer repeats. These transcripts are processed into siRNAs that target homologous loci for heterochromatin formation. Here, high throughput sequencing of small RNA provides a comprehensive analysis of centromere-derived small RNAs. We found that the centromeric small RNAs are Dcr1 dependent, carry 50-monophosphates and are associated with Ago1. The majority of centromeric small RNAs originate from two remarkably well-conserved sequences that are present in all centromeres. The high degree of similarity suggests that this non-coding sequence in itself may be of importance. Consistent with this, secondary structure-probing experiments indicate that this centromeric RNA is partially double-stranded and is processed by Dicer in vitro. We further demonstrate the existence of small centromeric RNA in rdp1D cells. Our data suggest a pathway for siRNA generation that is distinct from the well-documented model involving RITS/RDRC. We propose that primary transcripts fold into hairpin-like structures that may be processed by Dcr1 into siRNAs, and that these siRNAs may initiate heterochromatin formation independent of RDRC activity. The EMBO Journal (2009) 28, 3832-3844. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.351; Published online 26 November 2009

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 28, no 24, 3832-3844 p.
Keyword [en]
centromeres, RNAi, small RNA, S. pombe
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Cell Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-17674DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2009.351ISI: 000272833700006PubMedID: 19942857ScopusID: 2-s2.0-72449159549OAI: diva2:577188
Swedish Cancer SocietySwedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council, LSHGCT-2004-503433

Som manuskript i avhandling. As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2012-12-14 Created: 2012-12-14 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Characterization of RNA polymerase II subunit Rpb7 in silencing and transcription
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characterization of RNA polymerase II subunit Rpb7 in silencing and transcription
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The DNA in eukaryotes is arranged in fibres of chromatin. The chromatin may be more or less compacted and the degree of condensation of the chromatin affects the accessibility of the DNA. The accessibility of the DNA, in turn, affects transcription and gene regulation. Genes within inaccessible DNA are commonly repressed whereasgenes within accessible DNA are active and expressed. This thesis concerns the interplay between chromatin and transcription with focus on the function of the RNA polymerase II (pol II) subunit Rpb7. We have demonstrated that processing of centromeric transcripts by the ribonuclease III family protein Dcr1 is required for heterochromatin formation at the centromeres of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A point mutation in the pol II subunit Rpb7 caused a specific defect in centromeric heterochromatin formation. We have shown i) that the centromeric transcripts that accumulate in dcr1delta cells are products of pol II, ii) the rpbG150D mutation is deficient in recognition and/or initiation of transcription from the centromeric promoter. Transcription by pol II within the centromeres was surprising since insertion of marker genes within these loci normally results in repression of pol II transcription. Here, paradoxically, pol II transcription was required for the construction of the inaccessible heterochromatin structure. Our analysis of sRNA in S. pombe revealed that most centromeric siRNA are originating from two clusters, which are repeated several times within the centromeres. This lead us to propose a model in which centromeric transcripts fold into double stranded structures that are processed by Dcr1. The resulting siRNAs may contribute with the starting signal for the RNAi feedback loop required for heterochromatin formation at the centromeres. Finally, we demonstrate that the genome-wide association of Rpb7 is nearly identical to that of the core pol II subunit Rpb2, indicating a general role for Rpb7 in transcription. We further show that the occupancy pattern of Rpb4, a pol II subunit that forms a subcomplex together with Rpb7, differs from those of Rpb2 and Rpb7. Rpb4 may therefore have a less general function in transcription than Rpb7. Hence, transcription by pol II is required not only for gene expression but also for repression via formation of inaccessible heterochromatin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet, 2009. 55 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31550 (URN)978-91-7409-606-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-12-04, Föreläsningssalen, plan 4, NOVUM, Huddinge, 10:00
Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved

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