Common ground: small RNA programming and chromatin modifications

Erwan Lejeune, Robin C. Allshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms regulate genome structure and expression profiles in eukaryotes. RNA interference (RNAi) and other small RNA-based chromatin-modifying activities can act to reset the epigenetic landscape at defined chromatin domains. Centromeric heterochromatin assembly is a RNAi-dependent process in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and provides a paradigm for detailed examination of such epigenetic processes. Here we review recent progress in understanding the mechanisms that underpin RNAi-mediated heterochromatin formation in S. pombe. We discuss recent analyses of the events that trigger RNAi and manipulations which uncouple RNAi and chromatin modification. Finally we provide an overview of similar molecular machineries across species where related small RNA pathways appear to drive the epigenetic reprogramming in germ cells and/or during early development in metazoans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in cell biology
Volume23
Issue number3
Early online date7 Apr 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2011

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