Nuclear pore proteins regulate chromatin structure and transcriptional memory by a conserved mechanism

William H. Light, Jason H. Brickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Previous experience alters the rate of transcriptional induction of many genes in yeast and this phenomenon persists through several cell division cycles. This phenomenon is called epigenetic transcriptional memory. For the yeast gene INO1, transcriptional memory requires a physical interaction with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and changes in the chromatin structure of the promoter. These changes lead to binding of a preinitiation form of RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII) to the INO1 promoter, bypassing the need to recruit RNAPII to the promoter during reactivation. In our recent study, we found that in human cells, hundreds of interferon-γ responsive genes exhibit a mechanistically similar form of transcriptional memory. Transcriptional memory requires a homologous nuclear pore protein in yeast and humans, which interacts with the promoters of genes that exhibit transcriptional memory and promotes both alteration of chromatin structure and binding of RNAPII. Whereas the interaction of yeast genes with nuclear pore proteins occurs at the NPC, the interaction of human genes with nuclear pore proteins occurs in the nucleoplasm. Thus, the interaction of nuclear pore proteins with genes plays an important and conserved role in affecting long-term epigenetic changes in transcriptional regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNucleus (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Chromatin
  • Epigenetics
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Nuclear porins
  • Transcriptional memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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