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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 April; 30(7): 1569.
PMCID: PMC2838072

Articles of Significant Interest Selected from This Issue by the Editors

Chromatin Remodeling and Modifying Activities United in SWI/SNF-A

Posttranslational modifications of histones such as H3K4 trimethylation and H2B monoubiquitination show a positive correlation with transcription activation. Until now, all H2B monoubiquitination was thought to arise from the action of the heterodimeric RNF20/40 E3 ubiquitin ligase. Li et al. (p. 1673-1688) report a new histone-modifying activity associated with the mammalian chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF-A. The study finds that the BAF250 subunit associates with elongin C, cullin 2, and Roc1 to assemble a complex that monoubiquitinates histone H2B at K120. This work has implications for the concerted action of chromatin remodeling and modifying activities in regulating target gene expression.

The Estrogen-Regulated Transcription Factor C/EBPβ Is a Novel Mediator of Endometrial Proliferation

Estrogen induces proliferation of the uterine epithelial lining in preparation for pregnancy. Female mice lacking the transcription factor C/EBPβ display a profound defect in this hormone-dependent process and are infertile. A study by Ramathal et al. (p. 1607-1619) revealed that C/EBPβ controls the expression of key cell cycle factors regulating DNA replication in uterine epithelial cells. In replication-defective C/EBPβ-null epithelial cells, cell cycle arrest activates classical DNA damage response pathways, triggering p53-mediated mechanisms that promote cell death. C/EBPβ, therefore, is an essential mediator of estrogen-induced growth and survival of the uterine epithelial cells during a critical phase of female reproduction.

Articles from Molecular and Cellular Biology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)