Current Genetics

, Volume 65, Issue 6, pp 1301–1306 | Cite as

RNA insertion in DNA as the imprint moiety: the fission yeast paradigm

  • Jagmohan Singh


This review elaborates on the findings of a new report which possibly resolves the biochemical nature of a novel type of DNA imprint as ribonucleotide and the mechanism of its formation during cell differentiation in fission yeast. The process of mating-type switching in fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, displays characteristics of a typical mammalian stem cell lineage, wherein a cell divides to produce an identical cell and a differentiated cell after every two cell divisions. This developmental asymmetry has been ascribed to play a role in generation of a DNA strand-specific imprint at the mat1 locus during lagging strand synthesis and its segregation to one of the two daughter cells by the process of asymmetric, semi-conservative DNA replication. The nature of this imprint and mechanisms of its generation have been a subject of research and debate. A recent report by Singh et al. (Nucleic Acids Res 47:3422–3433., 2019) provides compelling evidence in support of a ribonucleotide as the imprint moiety within the mat1 DNA and demonstrates the role of Mcm10/Cdc23, an important, evolutionarily conserved component of DNA replication machinery in eukaryotes, in installing the imprint through a non-canonical primase activity and interaction with DNA Polα and Swi1. The high degree of conservation of DNA replication machinery, especially the presence of the T7 gene 4 helicase/primase domain in the mammalian orthologs of Mcm10 suggests that similar mechanisms of DNA imprinting may play a role during cell differentiation in metazoans.


Imprinting S. pombe DNA replication Ribonucleotide moiety mat1 



I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ChandigarhIndia

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