Prof Mellor presented at the thirteenth meeting on transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes at CSHL in August 2013.

Summary of the talk:

In yeast, antisense transcription (AST) acts as a “reset” button for gene expression by influencing the chromatin structure at the gene promoter and over the coding region.

The AST-mediated chromatin structures in the coding region of genes facilitates transcription bursting, the major generator of noise in biological systems. This is complemented by the AST-mediated dynamic chromatin structures at the promoter which explain state changes; the capacity to dynamically switch genes from the “off” to the “on” state, also contributing to stochastic expression, and the activation or repression of gene expression.