|Directed targeting of chromatin to the nuclear lamina is mediated by chromatin state and A-type lamins. |
Harr, JC; Luperchio, TR; Wong, X; Cohen, E; Wheelan, SJ; Reddy, KL
The Journal of cell biology
Nuclear organization has been implicated in regulating gene activity. Recently, large developmentally regulated regions of the genome dynamically associated with the nuclear lamina have been identified. However, little is known about how these lamina-associated domains (LADs) are directed to the nuclear lamina. We use our tagged chromosomal insertion site system to identify small sequences from borders of fibroblast-specific variable LADs that are sufficient to target these ectopic sites to the nuclear periphery. We identify YY1 (Ying-Yang1) binding sites as enriched in relocating sequences. Knockdown of YY1 or lamin A/C, but not lamin A, led to a loss of lamina association. In addition, targeted recruitment of YY1 proteins facilitated ectopic LAD formation dependent on histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation and histone H3 lysine di- and trimethylation. Our results also reveal that endogenous loci appear to be dependent on lamin A/C, YY1, H3K27me3, and H3K9me2/3 for maintenance of lamina-proximal positioning.
|Rapid de novo centromere formation occurs independently of heterochromatin protein 1 in C. elegans embryos. |
Yuen, KW; Nabeshima, K; Oegema, K; Desai, A
Current biology : CB
DNA injected into the Caenorhabditis elegans germline forms extrachromosomal arrays that segregate during cell division [1, 2]. The mechanisms underlying array formation and segregation are not known. Here, we show that extrachromosomal arrays form de novo centromeres at high frequency, providing unique access to a process that occurs with extremely low frequency in other systems [3-8]. De novo centromerized arrays recruit centromeric chromatin and kinetochore proteins and autonomously segregate on the spindle. Live imaging following DNA injection revealed that arrays form after oocyte fertilization via homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining. Individual arrays gradually transition from passive inheritance to active segregation during the early embryonic divisions. The heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) family proteins HPL-1 and HPL-2 are dispensable for de novo centromerization even though arrays become strongly enriched for the heterochromatin-associated H3K9me3 modification over time. Partial inhibition of HP1 family proteins accelerates the acquisition of segregation competence. In addition to reporting the first direct visualization of new centromere formation in living cells, these findings reveal that naked DNA rapidly builds de novo centromeres in C. elegans embryos in an HP1-independent manner and suggest that, rather than being a prerequisite, HP1-dependent heterochromatin antagonizes de novo centromerization.
|In vivo chromatin decondensation assays: molecular genetic analysis of chromatin unfolding characteristics of selected proteins. |
Sherry L Winter,Philip Wong,Mark G Alexandrow
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Of critical importance to many of the events underlying transcriptional control of gene expression are modifications to core and linker histones that regulate the accessibility of trans-acting factors to the DNA substrate within the context of chromatin. Likewise, control over the initiation of DNA replication, as well as the ability of the replication machinery to proceed during elongation through the multiple levels of chromatin condensation that are likely to be encountered, is almost certain to involve the creation of chromatin accessibility. In the latter case in particular, chromatin access will likely need to be a transient event so as to prevent total genomic unraveling of the chromatin that would be deleterious to cells. While there are many molecular and biochemical approaches in use to study histone changes and their relationship to transcription and chromatin accessibility, few techniques exist that allow a molecular dissection of the events underlying DNA replication control as it pertains to chromatin changes and accessibility. In this review, we outline a novel experimental strategy for addressing the ability of specific proteins to induce large-scale chromatin unfolding (decondensation) in vivo upon site-specific targeting to an engineered locus. We have used this system successfully to directly address the ability of DNA replication proteins to create chromatin accessibility and have incorporated modifications to the basic approach that allow for a molecular genetic analysis of the players involved in causing chromatin decondensation by a protein of interest. Here, we briefly describe the nature of the experimental system, its history, and a basic protocol for using the system. Alternative approaches involving co-transfections, concurrent drug treatments, and analysis of co-localizing histone modifications are also addressed, which are useful for extending basic findings to physiological mechanisms.
|Recruitment to the nuclear periphery can alter expression of genes in human cells. |
Finlan, LE; Sproul, D; Thomson, I; Boyle, S; Kerr, E; Perry, P; Ylstra, B; Chubb, JR; Bickmore, WA
The spatial organisation of the genome in the nucleus has a role in the regulation of gene expression. In vertebrates, chromosomal regions with low gene-density are located close to the nuclear periphery. Correlations have also been made between the transcriptional state of some genes and their location near the nuclear periphery. However, a crucial issue is whether this level of nuclear organisation directly affects gene function, rather than merely reflecting it. To directly investigate whether proximity to the nuclear periphery can influence gene expression in mammalian cells, here we relocate specific human chromosomes to the nuclear periphery by tethering them to a protein of the inner nuclear membrane. We show that this can reversibly suppress the expression of some endogenous human genes located near the tethering sites, and even genes further away. However, the expression of many other genes is not detectably reduced and we show that location at the nuclear periphery is not incompatible with active transcription. The dampening of gene expression around the nuclear periphery is dependent on the activity of histone deacetylases. Our data show that the radial position within the nucleus can influence the expression of some, but not all, genes. This is compatible with the suggestion that re-localisation of genes relative to the peripheral zone of the nucleus could be used by metazoans to modulate the expression of selected genes during development and differentiation.
|Activation of the lac repressor in the transgenic mouse |
Scrable, H and Stambrook, P J
Genetics, 147:297-304 (1997)