New paper by Sistonen Laboratory published in Molecular Cell

    A New Mechanism of Stress-Induced Transcriptional Memory

    In a long-term project in the Sistonen Laboratory, led by Anniina Vihervaara in collaboration with John T. Lis at Cornell University, a new mechanism of stress-induced transcriptional memory was discovered. In the paper published in Molecular Cell, Vihervaara et al. show that cells restore their transcriptional program after a single or repeated exposures to heat stress. In other words, cells remember their transcriptional identity after recovering from stressful conditions. The authors also demonstrate how the cells establish a transcriptional memory of stress, which determines the behavior of their daughter cells. Their results reveal the promoter-proximal pausing of RNA polymerase II, pause release and transcription termination as the key rate-limiting steps in establishing a memory over cell divisions. The discovered mechanism of stress-induced transcriptional memory may explain why cancer cells are stress tolerant, maintain proliferation capacity and can survive multiple severe stress exposures.


    The paper:


    Press release (swedish, finnish):