Chromosome Research

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 89–100 | Cite as

Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) contributes to the high-order structure and stability of heterochromatin in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Xin BiEmail author
  • Yue Ren
  • Morgan Kath
Original Article


Heterochromatin plays important roles in the structure, maintenance, and function of the eukaryotic genome. It is associated with special histone modifications and specialized non-histone proteins and assumes a more compact structure than euchromatin. Genes embedded in heterochromatin are generally transcriptionally silent. It was found previously that several mutations of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a DNA replication processivity factor, reduce transcriptional silencing at heterochromatin loci in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, the notion that PCNA plays a role in transcriptional silencing was recently questioned because of a potential problem concerning the silencing assays used in prior studies. To determine if PCNA is a bona fide contributor to heterochromatin-mediated transcriptional silencing, we examined the effects of PCNA mutations on heterochromatin structure. We found evidence implicating PCNA in the maintenance of the high-order structure and stability of heterochromatin, which indicates a role of DNA replication in heterochromatin maintenance.


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) heterochromatin high order structure heterochromatin stability DNA supercoiling 



Proliferating cell nuclear antigen



We thank Dr. Peter Burgers for providing us with pBL230 and pBL230-x plasmids encoding wild-type and mutant PCNA alleles and Dr. Zhiguo Zhang for yeast strains ZGY005, ZGY005-6, ZGY005-8, ZGY005-9, and ZGY005-79. We also thank Hiram Lyon for assistance in performing sucrose gradient assay. This work was supported by NSF grant MCB-1158008 to X.B.

Supplementary material

10577_2016_9540_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
Fig. S1 (PDF 1262 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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