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Condensins are genome organisers, but not gene regulators !

eLife publication: Bernard group

Condensins are genome organisers that shape chromosomes and promote their accurate transmission. Several studies have also implicated condensins in gene expression, although any mechanisms have remained enigmatic. Here, we report on the role of condensin in gene expression in fission and budding yeasts. In contrast to previous studies, we provide compelling evidence that condensin plays no direct role in the maintenance of the transcriptome, neither during interphase nor during mitosis. We further show that the changes in gene expression in post-mitotic fission yeast cells that result from condensin inactivation are largely a consequence of chromosome missegregation during anaphase, which notably depletes the RNA-exosome from daughter cells. Crucially, preventing karyotype abnormalities in daughter cells restores a normal transcriptome despite condensin inactivation. Thus, chromosome instability, rather than a direct role of condensin in the transcription process, changes gene expression. This knowledge challenges the concept of gene regulation by canonical condensin complexes.

Condensin controls cellular RNA levels through the accurate segregation of chromosomes instead of directly regulating transcription.

Clémence Hocquet et al., eLife Sep 19, 2018