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Transcription of a 5' extended mRNA isoform directs dynamic chromatin changes and interference of a downstream promoter.

  • Author(s): Chia, Minghao
  • Tresenrider, Amy
  • Chen, Jingxun
  • Spedale, Gianpiero
  • Jorgensen, Victoria
  • Ünal, Elçin
  • van Werven, Folkert Jacobus
  • et al.
Abstract

Cell differentiation programs require dynamic regulation of gene expression. During meiotic prophase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of the kinetochore complex subunit Ndc80 is downregulated by a 5' extended long undecoded NDC80 transcript isoform. Here we demonstrate a transcriptional interference mechanism that is responsible for inhibiting expression of the coding NDC80 mRNA isoform. Transcription from a distal NDC80 promoter directs Set1-dependent histone H3K4 dimethylation and Set2-dependent H3K36 trimethylation to establish a repressive chromatin state in the downstream canonical NDC80 promoter. As a consequence, NDC80 expression is repressed during meiotic prophase. The transcriptional mechanism described here is rapidly reversible, adaptable to fine-tune gene expression, and relies on Set2 and the Set3 histone deacetylase complex. Thus, expression of a 5' extended mRNA isoform causes transcriptional interference at the downstream promoter. We demonstrate that this is an effective mechanism to promote dynamic changes in gene expression during cell differentiation.

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