The SIR2 gene family, conserved from bacteria to humans, functions in silencing, cell cycle progression, and chromosome stability

Carrie Baker Brachmann, Joyce M. Sherman, Scott E. Devine, Elizabeth E. Cameron, Lorraine Pillus, Jef D. Boeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Genomic silencing is a fundamental mechanism of transcriptional regulation, yet little is known about conserved mechanisms of silencing. We report here the discovery of four Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologs of the SIR2 silencing gene (HSTs), as well as conservation of this gene family from bacteria to mammals. At least three HST genes can function in silencing; HST1 overexpression restores transcriptional silencing to a sir2 mutant and hst3 hst4 double mutants are defective in telomeric silencing. In addition, HST3 and HST4 together contribute to proper cell cycle progression, radiation resistance, and genomic stability, establishing new connections between silencing and these fundamental cellular processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2888-2902
Number of pages15
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995



  • HST genes
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • chromosome segregation
  • homologous recombination
  • telomeric silencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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