Reorganization of chromatin is an early response to nitrogen starvation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe
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There are several documented events of changes in subnuclear localization during gene activation. However, there are conflicting data on whether the nuclear periphery is a compartment for gene repression or activation and whether genes are moved to the pores at the nuclear membrane (NM) or not during gene activation. Nitrogen starvation of fission yeast serves as a good model system for studying gene induction, as it causes fast regulation of hundreds of genes. In this study, the subnuclear localization of two gene clusters repressed by nitrogen was investigated. During normal growth conditions, the gene clusters localized to the nuclear periphery at the opposite side of the nucleus as compared to the spindle pole body. This constrained localization was dependent on the histone deacetylase Clr3, known to transcriptionally repress genes in these clusters. Already 20 min after nitrogen depletion, drastic changes in subnuclear localization of the two loci were observed, away from the NM toward the nuclear interior. At least for one of the clusters, the movement was clearly transcription dependent. Data presented in this paper illustrates how interconnected events of gene activation and nuclear reorganization are as well as provides a suggestion of how nuclear organization might be maintained.
We thank Helena Porse who contributed to this work when doing a 10-week rotation in our laboratory. Dr Ayumu Yamamoto is thanked for sending us plasmids. FH is a post-doctoral fellow supported by grant 2006-5437 from the Swedish Research Council. This work was supported by grant 2004-3286 from the Swedish Research Council.
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