Chromatin control during the cell cycle

A large macromolecular complex regulates chromatin conformation and gene transcription during the cell cycle.

Jonathan Weitzman(jonathanweitzman@hotmail.com)
May 13, 2002

Maintaining cells in the quiescent G0 phase of the cell division cycle is achieved by suppressing the expression of genes required for cell-cycle progression. In the May 10 Science, Hidesato Ogawa and colleagues at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston describe a repressive mechanism in quiescent cells involving the E2F-6 transcription factor (Science 2002, 296:1132-1136).

Ogawa et al. immunopurified protein complexes that include E2F-6 from human cells and analyzed co-purifying protein bands by mass spectrometry. They detected the DP-1, Mga and Max transcription factors and showed that the E2F-6 complex can bind to E2F- and Myc-binding sites on DNA; they also found two associated histone methyltransferase enzymes. In addition, they detected the HP1γ protein that binds to methylated lysine 9 residues in the tails of histone proteins. Finally, they also found evidence for Polycomb-group-like, ring-finger proteins in the same complex.

The authors propose that E2F- and...

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