Uncoupling of genomic and epigenetic signals in the maintenance and inheritance of heterochromatin domains in fission yeast.

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Many essential aspects of genome function, including gene expression and chromosome segregation, are mediated throughout development and differentiation by changes in the chromatin state. Along with genomic signals encoded in the DNA, epigenetic processes regulate heritable gene expression patterns. Genomic signals such as enhancers, silencers, and repetitive DNA, while required for the establishment of alternative chromatin states, have an unclear role in epigenetic processes that underlie the persistence of chromatin states throughout development. Here, we demonstrate in fission yeast that the maintenance and inheritance of ectopic heterochromatin domains are independent of the genomic sequences necessary for their de novo establishment. We find that both structural heterochromatin and gene silencing can be stably maintained over an ~10-kb domain for up to hundreds of cell divisions in the absence of genomic sequences required for heterochromatin establishment, demonstrating the long-term persistence and stability of this chromatin state. The de novo heterochromatin, despite the absence of nucleation sequences, is also stably inherited through meiosis. Together, these studies provide evidence for chromatin-dependent, epigenetic control of gene silencing that is heritable, stable, and self-sustaining, even in the absence of the originating genomic signals.





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Wheeler, Bayly S, Brandon T Ruderman, Huntington F Willard and Kristin C Scott (2012). Uncoupling of genomic and epigenetic signals in the maintenance and inheritance of heterochromatin domains in fission yeast. Genetics, 190(2). pp. 549–557. 10.1534/genetics.111.137083 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25641.

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Brandon T Ruderman

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Brandon Ruderman, MD, FACEP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He graduated cum laude with distinction from Duke University with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and a Certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he also received the Marvin J. Hoffman International Medicine Award for a research project in Peru as well as the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Medical Student Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award. He completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Emergency Ultrasound at Duke. 

Dr. Ruderman joined Duke Emergency Medicine Faculty in 2020 after his fellowship, and his primary interests include medical student and resident ultrasound education, simulation, exploring novel applications of point-of-care ultrasound, and emergency airway research. He was a finalist in the 2018 American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum Best Resident Abstract for his research comparing video laryngoscopy to direct laryngoscopy in patients with difficult airways. He has served in numerous roles as one of the Duke Emergency Ultrasound Faculty, including mentoring several medical students and residents, and as the Ultrasound Course Director for the Acute Care course for fourth year students at Duke University School of Medicine.

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