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Cohesin regulates VSG monoallelic expression in trypanosomes

AuthorsLandeira, D.; Bart, Jean-Mathieu; Van Tyne, D.; Navarro, M.
Issue Date2009
PublisherRockefeller University Press
CitationJournal of Cell Biology 186: 243- 254 (2009)
AbstractAntigenic variation allows Trypanosoma brucei to evade the host immune response by switching the expression of 1 out of ∼15 telomeric variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) expression sites (ESs). VSG ES transcription is mediated by RNA polymerase I in a discrete nuclear site named the ES body (ESB). However, nothing is known about how the monoallelic VSG ES transcriptional state is maintained over generations. In this study, we show that during S and G2 phases and early mitosis, the active VSG ES locus remains associated with the single ESB and exhibits a delay in the separation of sister chromatids relative to control loci. This delay is dependent on the cohesin complex, as partial knockdown of cohesin subunits resulted in premature separation of sister chromatids of the active VSG ES. Cohesin depletion also prompted transcriptional switching from the active to previously inactive VSG ESs. Thus, in addition to maintaining sister chromatid cohesion during mitosis, the cohesin complex plays an essential role in the correct epigenetic inheritance of the active transcriptional VSG ES state. © 2009 Landeira et al.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1083/jcb.200902119
issn: 0021-9525
Appears in Collections:(IPBLN) Artículos
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