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The Chp1-Tas3 core is a multifunctional platform critical for gene silencing by RITS.

RNA interference (RNAi) is critical for the assembly of heterochromatin at Schizosaccharomyces pombe centromeres. Central to this process is the RNA-induced initiation of transcriptional gene silencing (RITS) complex, which physically anchors small noncoding RNAs to chromatin. RITS includes Ago1, the chromodomain protein Chp1, and Tas3, which forms a bridge between Chp1 and Ago1. Chp1 is a large protein with no recognizable domains, apart from its chromodomain. Here we describe how the structured C-terminal half of Chp1 binds the Tas3 N-terminal domain, revealing the tight association of Chp1 and Tas3. The structure also shows a PIN domain at the C-terminal tip of Chp1 that controls subtelomeric transcripts through a post-transcriptional mechanism. We suggest that the Chp1-Tas3 complex provides a solid and versatile platform to recruit both RNAi-dependent and RNAi-independent gene-silencing pathways for locus-specific regulation of heterochromatin.

Pubmed ID: 22081013


  • Schalch T
  • Job G
  • Shanker S
  • Partridge JF
  • Joshua-Tor L


Nature structural & molecular biology

Publication Data

December 5, 2011

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: P30 CA045508
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: P30CA021765
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM084045
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM084045-04
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01GM084045

Mesh Terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Gene Silencing
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multigene Family
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA Interference
  • Schizosaccharomyces
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein