An activation-independent role of transcription factors in insulator function

Geneviève Fourel, Cécile Boscheron, Émanuelle Revardel, Éléonore Lebrun, Yan Fen Hu, Katia Carmine Simmen, Karin Müller, Rong Li, Nicolas Mermod, Éric Gilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Chromatin insulators are defined as transcriptionally neutral elements that prevent negative or positive influence from extending across chromatin to a promoter. Here we show that yeast subtelomeric anti-silencing regions behave as boundaries to telomere-driven silencing and also allow discontinuous propagation of silent chromatin. These two facets of insulator activity, boundary and silencing discontinuity, can be recapitulated by tethering various transcription activation domains to tandem sites on DNA. Importantly, we show that these insulator activities do not involve direct transcriptional activation of the reporter promoter. These findings predict that certain promoters behave as insulators and partition genomes in functionally independent domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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