Transcription in waves
During mitosis, chromatin condensation is accompanied by a global arrest of transcription. Recent studies suggest transcriptional reactivation upon mitotic exit occurs in temporally coordinated waves, but the underlying regulatory principles have yet to be elucidated. Work by Mário Soares and collaborators, led by Diogo S. Castro at the i3S Institute of Research and Innovation in Health, revealed how differential binding of transcription factors to mitotic chromosomes, governed by their electrostatic properties, plays an important role in determining the timing of transcriptional reactivation during Mitosis-to-G1 transition. The team reached this conclusion by focusing on Brn2 and Ascl1, two important regulators of neural stem cell biology. The article entitled “Hierarchical reactivation of transcription during mitosis-to-G1 transition by Brn2 and AScl1 in neural stem cells” was published in Genes and Development.