The past determines the future: sugar source history and transcriptional memory

Curr Genet. 2020 Dec;66(6):1029-1035. doi: 10.1007/s00294-020-01094-8. Epub 2020 Jul 19.


Transcriptional reinduction memory is a phenomenon whereby cells "remember" their transcriptional response to a previous stimulus such that subsequent encounters with the same stimulus can result in altered gene expression kinetics. Chromatin structure is thought to play a role in certain transcriptional memory mechanisms, leading to questions as to whether and how memory can be actively maintained and inherited to progeny through cell division. Here we summarize efforts towards dissecting chromatin-based transcriptional memory inheritance of GAL genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We focus on methods and analyses of GAL (as well as MAL and INO) memory in single cells and discuss the challenges in unraveling the underlying mechanisms in yeast and higher eukaryotes.

Keywords: Chromatin; GAL; History-dependent behavior; Inheritance; Microfluidics; Single-cell; Transcriptional memory.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Galactokinase / genetics*
  • Galactose / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Sugars / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Sugars
  • Galactokinase
  • Galactose