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MORC family ATPases required for heterochromatin condensation and gene silencing.

Transposable elements (TEs) and DNA repeats are commonly targeted by DNA and histone methylation to achieve epigenetic gene silencing. We isolated mutations in two Arabidopsis genes, AtMORC1 and AtMORC6, which cause derepression of DNA-methylated genes and TEs but no losses of DNA or histone methylation. AtMORC1 and AtMORC6 are members of the conserved Microrchidia (MORC) adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) family, which are predicted to catalyze alterations in chromosome superstructure. The atmorc1 and atmorc6 mutants show decondensation of pericentromeric heterochromatin, increased interaction of pericentromeric regions with the rest of the genome, and transcriptional defects that are largely restricted to loci residing in pericentromeric regions. Knockdown of the single MORC homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans also impairs transgene silencing. We propose that the MORC ATPases are conserved regulators of gene silencing in eukaryotes.

Pubmed ID: 22555433

Authors

  • Moissiard G
  • Cokus SJ
  • Cary J
  • Feng S
  • Billi AC
  • Stroud H
  • Husmann D
  • Zhan Y
  • Lajoie BR
  • McCord RP
  • Hale CJ
  • Feng W
  • Michaels SD
  • Frand AR
  • Pellegrini M
  • Dekker J
  • Kim JK
  • Jacobsen SE

Journal

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

June 15, 2012

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: F32 GM100617
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: F32GM100617
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM007185
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM075060
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM088565
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM60398
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: HG003143
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM075060
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM088565
  • Agency: NHGRI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HG003143
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R37 GM060398
  • Agency: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Id:
  • Agency: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Centromere
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, Plant
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones
  • Methylation
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transgenes
  • Up-Regulation