Dissecting the Roles of Divergent and Convergent Transcription in Chromosome Instability

Cell Rep. 2016 Feb 9;14(5):1025-1031. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.098. Epub 2016 Jan 21.


The interplay of transcription, topological tension, and chromosome breakage is a subject of intense interest, but, with so many facets to the problem, it is difficult to test. Here, we vary the orientation of promoters relative to one another in a yeast system that permits sensitive detection of chromosome breaks. Interestingly, convergent transcription that would direct RNA polymerases into one another does not increase chromosome breakage. In contrast, divergent transcription that would create underwound and potentially single-stranded DNA does cause a marked increase in chromosome breakage. Furthermore, we examine the role that topoisomerases are playing in preventing genome instability at these promoters and find that Top2 is required to prevent instability at converging promoters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomal Instability / drug effects
  • Chromosomal Instability / genetics*
  • Galactose / pharmacology
  • Gene Rearrangement / drug effects
  • Gene Rearrangement / genetics
  • Genetic Loci
  • Models, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic* / drug effects


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Galactose