Expression homeostasis during DNA replication

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Science  04 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6277, pp. 1087-1090
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad1162

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Doubling DNA but not expression

As the genome replicates, and before the cell divides, the copy number of the replicated portions of the genome doubles. In bacteria and archaea, gene expression tracks with gene dosage, both of which increase after DNA replication. Voichek et al., however, show that an increase in DNA dosage after replication does not increase gene expression in budding yeast. This expression buffering is mediated by the acetylation of newly synthesized histone H3 deposited on the replicated DNA. This acetylation helps suppress transcription from the excess DNA.

Science, this issue p. 1087


Genome replication introduces a stepwise increase in the DNA template available for transcription. Genes replicated early in S phase experience this increase before late-replicating genes, raising the question of how expression levels are affected by DNA replication. We show that in budding yeast, messenger RNA (mRNA) synthesis rate is buffered against changes in gene dosage during S phase. This expression homeostasis depends on acetylation of H3 on its internal K56 site by Rtt109/Asf1. Deleting these factors, mutating H3K56 or up-regulating its deacetylation, increases gene expression in S phase in proportion to gene replication timing. Therefore, H3K56 acetylation on newly deposited histones reduces transcription efficiency from replicated DNA, complementing its role in guarding genome stability. Our study provides molecular insight into the mechanism maintaining expression homeostasis during DNA replication.

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