H2A.Z-mediated localization of genes at the nuclear periphery confers epigenetic memory of previous transcriptional state

Donna Garvey Brickner, Ivelisse Cajigas, Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf, Sara Ahmed, Pei Chih Lee, Jonathan Widom, Jason H. Brickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Scopus citations


Many genes are recruited to the nuclear periphery upon transcriptional activation. The mechanism and functional significance of this recruitment is unclear. We find that recruitment of the yeast INO1 and GAL1 genes to the nuclear periphery is rapid and independent of transcription. Surprisingly, these genes remain at the periphery for generations after they are repressed. Localization at the nuclear periphery serves as a form of memory of recent transcriptional activation, promoting reactivation. Previously expressed GAL1 at the nuclear periphery is activated much more rapidly than long-term repressed GAL1 in the nucleoplasm, even after six generations of repression. Localization of INO1 at the nuclear periphery is necessary and sufficient to promote more rapid activation. This form of transcriptional memory is chromatin based; the histone variant H2A.Z is incorporated into nucleosomes within the recently repressed INO1 promoter and is specifically required for rapid reactivation of both INO1 and GAL1. Furthermore, H2A.Z is required to retain INO1 at the nuclear periphery after repression. Therefore, H2A.Z-mediated localization of recently repressed genes at the nuclear periphery represents an epigenetic state that confers memory of transcriptional activation and promotes reactivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-716
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'H2A.Z-mediated localization of genes at the nuclear periphery confers epigenetic memory of previous transcriptional state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this