The aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein ring1B combine to regulate active promoters in quiescent lymphocytes

Mol Cell. 2013 Sep 12;51(5):647-61. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2013.08.022.


Reversible cellular quiescence is critical for developmental processes in metazoan organisms and is characterized by a reduction in cell size and transcriptional activity. We show that the Aurora B kinase and the polycomb protein Ring1B have essential roles in regulating transcriptionally active genes in quiescent lymphocytes. Ring1B and Aurora B bind to a wide range of active promoters in resting B and T cells. Conditional knockout of either protein results in reduced transcription and binding of RNA Pol II to promoter regions and decreased cell viability. Aurora B phosphorylates histone H3S28 at active promoters in resting B cells as well as inhibiting Ring1B-mediated ubiquitination of histone H2A and enhancing binding and activity of the USP16 deubiquitinase at transcribed genes. Our results identify a mechanism for regulating transcription in quiescent cells that has implications for epigenetic regulation of the choice between proliferation and quiescence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aurora Kinase B / genetics
  • Aurora Kinase B / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / genetics
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 90-kDa / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzymes / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Histones
  • Usp16 protein, mouse
  • UBE2D3 protein, mouse
  • Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzymes
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1
  • Rnf2 protein, mouse
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Aurkb protein, mouse
  • Aurora Kinase B
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 90-kDa
  • mitogen and stress-activated protein kinase 1
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE42706