Epigenetic regulation of PGU1 transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
The PGU1 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been shown to encode a polygalacturonase. The polygalacturonase activity in S. cerevisiae is strain specific. There are no significant differences in the PGU1 promoter regions of strains with and without polygalacturonase activity. The PGU1 gene is subtelomeric because it is located within 25 kb of the right telomere of chromosome X. Expressions of genes located in subtelomeric regions in the yeast S. cerevisiae are inhibited compared with the rest of the genome. In this study, we showed that the deletion of genes involved in telomere silencing enhances polygalacturonase activity. PGU1 transcription and polygalacturonase activity are increased when PGU1 is shifted to a different location in the genome, away from the telomere located close to this gene, and the depletion of the histone H4 leads to an increase in PGU1 transcription. We concluded that PGU1 is silenced in strains without polygalacturonase activity due to an epigenetic effect. The results of this study suggest that PGU1 is silenced by being folded into a heterochromatin-like structure at its subtelomeric position on chromosome X. Formation of this silent structure is dependent on the Isw2p chromatin remodeling complex, its histone fold motif containing subunit Dls1p and the N-terminal tail of the H4 histone. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.