A role for condensin in mediating transcriptional adaptation to environmental stimuli.
journal contributionposted on 08.06.2021, 11:05 by Lucy Lancaster, Harshil Patel, Gavin Kelly, Frank Uhlmann
Nuclear organisation shapes gene regulation; however, the principles by which three-dimensional genome architecture influences gene transcription are incompletely understood. Condensin is a key architectural chromatin constituent, best known for its role in mitotic chromosome condensation. Yet at least a subset of condensin is bound to DNA throughout the cell cycle. Studies in various organisms have reported roles for condensin in transcriptional regulation, but no unifying mechanism has emerged. Here, we use rapid conditional condensin depletion in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study its role in transcriptional regulation. We observe a large number of small gene expression changes, enriched at genes located close to condensin-binding sites, consistent with a possible local effect of condensin on gene expression. Furthermore, nascent RNA sequencing reveals that transcriptional down-regulation in response to environmental stimuli, in particular to heat shock, is subdued without condensin. Our results underscore the multitude by which an architectural chromosome constituent can affect gene regulation and suggest that condensin facilitates transcriptional reprogramming as part of adaptation to environmental changes.