Research Article

Corepressor-Dependent Silencing of Chromosomal Regions Encoding Neuronal Genes

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Science  29 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5599, pp. 1747-1752
DOI: 10.1126/science.1076469

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The molecular mechanisms by which central nervous system–specific genes are expressed only in the nervous system and repressed in other tissues remain a central issue in developmental and regulatory biology. Here, we report that the zinc-finger gene-specific repressor element RE-1 silencing transcription factor/neuronal restricted silencing factor (REST/NRSF) can mediate extraneuronal restriction by imposing either active repression via histone deacetylase recruitment or long-term gene silencing using a distinct functional complex. Silencing of neuronal-specific genes requires the recruitment of an associated corepressor, CoREST, that serves as a functional molecular beacon for the recruitment of molecular machinery that imposes silencing across a chromosomal interval, including transcriptional units that do not themselves contain REST/NRSF response elements.

  • * Present address: Beckman Institute for Biomedical Research, Department of Functional Genomics, Temecula, CA 92590, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mrosenfeld{at}

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