Transcriptional repression plays crucial roles in diverse aspects of metazoan development, implying critical regulatory roles for corepressors such as N-CoR and SMRT. Altered patterns of transcription in tissues and cells derived from N-CoR gene-deleted mice and the resulting block at specific points in CNS, erythrocyte, and thymocyte development indicated that N-CoR was a required component of short-term active repression by nuclear receptors and MAD and of a subset of long-term repression events mediated by REST/NRSF. Unexpectedly, N-CoR and a specific deacetylase were also required for transcriptional activation of one class of retinoic acid response element. Together, these findings suggest that specific combinations of corepressors and histone deacetylases mediate the gene-specific actions of DNA-bound repressors in development of multiple organ systems.
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