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Requirement for flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) to maintain genomic stability and transcriptional gene silencing in Arabidopsis.

Zhang J., Xie S., Zhu J.K., Gong Z.

As a central component in the maturation of Okazaki fragments, flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) removes the 5'-flap and maintains genomic stability. Here, FEN1 was cloned as a suppressor of transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) from a forward genetic screen. FEN1 is abundant in the root and shoot apical meristems and FEN1-GFP shows a nucleolus-localized signal in tobacco cells. The Arabidopsis fen1-1 mutant is hypersensitive to methyl methanesulfonate and shows reduced telomere length. Interestingly, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation and RNA sequencing results demonstrate that FEN1 mutation leads to a decrease in the level of H3K27me3 and an increase in the expression of a subset of genes marked with H3K27me3. Overall, these results uncover a role for FEN1 in mediating TGS as well as maintaining genome stability in Arabidopsis.

Plant J. 87:629-640(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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