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Articles by P Costa Nunes
Total Records ( 1 ) for P Costa Nunes
  O Pontes , P Costa Nunes , P Vithayathil and C. S. Pikaard

In Arabidopsis, pericentromeric repeats, retroelements, and silenced rRNA genes are assembled into heterochromatin within nuclear structures known as chromocenters. The mechanisms governing higher-order heterochromatin organization are poorly understood but 24-nt small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are known to play key roles in heterochromatin formation. Nuclear RNA polymerase IV (Pol IV), RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE 2 (RDR2), and DICER-LIKE 3 (DCL3) are required for biogenesis of 24-nt siRNAs that associate with ARGONAUTE 4 (AGO4). Nuclear RNA polymerase V (Pol V) collaborates with DRD1 (DEFICIENT IN RNA-DEPENDENT DNA METHYLATION 1) to generate transcripts at heterochromatic loci that are hypothesized to bind to siRNA-AGO4 complexes and subsequently recruit the de-novo DNA methylation and/or histone modifying machinery. Here, we report that decondensation of the major pericentromeric repeats and depletion of the heterochromatic mark histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation at chromocenters occurs specifically in pol V and drd1 mutants. Disruption of pericentromeric repeats condensation is coincident with transcriptional reactivation of specific classes of pericentromeric 180-bp repeats. We further demonstrate that Pol V functions independently of Pol IV, RDR2, and DCL3-mediated siRNA production to affect interphase heterochromatin organization, possibly by involving RNAs that recruit structural or chromatin-modifying proteins.

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