Mitotic Repression of the Transcriptional Machinery

Trends Biochem Sci. 1997 Jun;22(6):197-202. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(97)01045-1.


Nuclear RNA transcription is silenced when eukaryotic cells enter mitosis. Until recently, this repression was thought to derive solely from the condensation of interphase chromatin into mitotic chromosomes. Recent studies, however, have shown that changes in chromatin structure and occupancy of promoter elements by both general and gene-specific transcription factors also play a role in transcriptional silencing. In addition, studies with simplified systems reveal that reversible phosphorylation of the basal transcriptional machinery represses transcription at mitosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Mitosis*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Phosphorylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases