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SIR2 Expression Noise Can Generate Heterogeneity in Viability but Does Not Affect Cell-to-Cell Epigenetic Silencing of Subtelomeric URA3 in Yeast

Abstract : Chromatin structure clearly modulates gene expression noise, but the reverse influence has never been investigated, namely how the cell-to-cell expression heterogeneity of chromatin modifiers may generate variable rates of epigenetic modification. Sir2 is a well-characterized histone deacetylase of the Sirtuin family. It strongly influences chromatin silencing, especially at telomeres, subtelomeres and rDNA. This ability to influence epigenetic landscapes makes it a good model to study the largely unexplored interplay between gene expression noise and other epigenetic processes leading to phenotypic diversification. Here, we addressed this question by investigating whether noise in the expression of SIR2 was associated with cell-to-cell heterogeneity in the frequency of epigenetic silencing at subtelomeres in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using cell sorting to isolate subpopulations with various expression levels, we found that heterogeneity in the cellular concentration of Sir2 does not lead to heterogeneity in the epigenetic silencing of subtelomeric URA3 between these subpopulations. We also noticed that SIR2 expression noise can generate cell-to-cell variability in viability, with lower levels being associated with better viability. This work shows that SIR2 expression fluctuations are not sufficient to generate cell-to-cell heterogeneity in the epigenetic silencing of URA3 at subtelomeres in Saccharomyces cerevisiae but can strongly affect cellular viability. KEYWORDS
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02968099
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Jian Liu, Laureline Mosser, Catherine Botanch, Jean-Marie François, Jean-Pascal Capp. SIR2 Expression Noise Can Generate Heterogeneity in Viability but Does Not Affect Cell-to-Cell Epigenetic Silencing of Subtelomeric URA3 in Yeast. G3, Genetics Society of America, 2020, 10 (9), pp.3435-3443. ⟨10.1534/g3.120.401589⟩. ⟨hal-02968099⟩

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