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One-two punch mechanism of gene repression: a fresh perspective on gene regulation

Tresenrider, Amy, Ünal, Elçin
Current genetics 2018 v.64 no.3 pp. 581-588
cell differentiation, gene activation, gene expression, genes, meiosis, messenger RNA, models, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, translation (genetics), yeasts
Cellular differentiation depends on temporally controlled waves of gene activation and inactivation that ultimately transform one cell type into another. It is well established that transcription factor cascades coordinate the timely activation of gene expression clusters during development. In comparison, much less is understood about how gene repression events are coordinated with the transcription factor-driven waves of gene activation and how this repression is achieved at a mechanistic level. Using budding yeast as a model, we recently discovered a new gene regulatory event, whereby a central meiotic transcription factor induces the expression of an mRNA isoform to repress gene expression through an integrated transcriptional and translational mechanism. This new model could explain how gene activation and inactivation waves can be temporally coordinated. In this review, we discuss our findings and their potential implications.