[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are several documented events of changes in subnuclear localization during gene activation. However, there are conflicting data on whether the nuclear periphery is a compartment for gene repression or activation and whether genes are moved to the pores at the nuclear membrane (NM) or not during gene activation. Nitrogen starvation of fission yeast serves as a good model system for studying gene induction, as it causes fast regulation of hundreds of genes. In this study, the subnuclear localization of two gene clusters repressed by nitrogen was investigated. During normal growth conditions, the gene clusters localized to the nuclear periphery at the opposite side of the nucleus as compared to the spindle pole body. This constrained localization was dependent on the histone deacetylase Clr3, known to transcriptionally repress genes in these clusters. Already 20 min after nitrogen depletion, drastic changes in subnuclear localization of the two loci were observed, away from the NM toward the nuclear interior. At least for one of the clusters, the movement was clearly transcription dependent. Data presented in this paper illustrates how interconnected events of gene activation and nuclear reorganization are as well as provides a suggestion of how nuclear organization might be maintained.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genome has a non-random spatial distribution in the cell nucleus. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, it has been shown that the centromeres, telomeres and the mating-type region localize to the nuclear membrane (NM), the former by attaching to the spindle pole body (SPB). In addition, reporter genes inserted into these areas are transcriptionally repressed because of the formation of specialized chromatin structures. Performing live cell analysis we found that in a wild-type strain the mating-type region was positioned in the proximity of the SPB, the location where the pericentromeric heterochromatin is also found. In a strain lacking the histone methyltransferase Clr4, crucial for the formation of heterochromatin, the mating-type region had a random localization in the nucleus. Moreover, in a strain in which the two boundary elements IR-L and IR-R had been deleted, the mating-type region was displaced from its position at the proximity of the SPB, but remained in the vicinity of the NM. Moreover, in all investigated strains with silencing deficiencies the distance between the mating-type region and the SPB increased. This result indicates a correlation between transcriptional derepression and displacement of the region. Two different models of how the mating-type chromatin is organized in the nucleus are discussed.