HP1(Swi6) mediates the recognition and destruction of heterochromatic RNA transcripts

Keller, Claudia and Adaixo, Ricardo and Stunnenberg, Rieka and Woolcock, Katrina Jane and Hiller, Sebastian and Bühler, Marc. (2012) HP1(Swi6) mediates the recognition and destruction of heterochromatic RNA transcripts. Molecular cell, 47 (2). pp. 215-227.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6002733

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HP1 proteins are major components of heterochromatin, which is generally perceived to be an inert and transcriptionally inactive chromatin structure. Yet, HP1 binding to chromatin is highly dynamic and robust silencing of heterochromatic genes can involve RNA processing. Here, we demonstrate by a combination of in vivo and in vitro experiments that the fission yeast HP1(Swi6) protein guarantees tight repression of heterochromatic genes through RNA sequestration and degradation. Stimulated by positively charged residues in the hinge region, RNA competes with methylated histone H3K9 for binding to the chromodomain of HP1(Swi6). Hence, HP1(Swi6) binding to RNA is incompatible with stable heterochromatin association. We propose a model in which an ensemble of HP1(Swi6) proteins functions as a heterochromatin-specific checkpoint, capturing and priming heterochromatic RNAs for the RNA degradation machinery. Sustaining a functional checkpoint requires continuous exchange of HP1(Swi6) within heterochromatin, which explains the dynamic localization of HP1 proteins on heterochromatin.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Structural Biology (Hiller)
UniBasel Contributors:Hiller Odermatt, Sebastian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cell Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:13 Dec 2017 12:08
Deposited On:08 Nov 2012 16:14

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