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J Cell Biol. 1998 Oct 5;143(1):13-22.

Large-scale chromosomal movements during interphase progression in Drosophila.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109-1024, USA.


We examined the effect of cell cycle progression on various levels of chromosome organization in Drosophila. Using bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and DNA quantitation in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization, we detected gross chromosomal movements in diploid interphase nuclei of larvae. At the onset of S-phase, an increased separation was seen between proximal and distal positions of a long chromsome arm. Progression through S-phase disrupted heterochromatic associations that have been correlated with gene silencing. Additionally, we have found that large-scale G1 nuclear architecture is continually dynamic. Nuclei display a Rabl configuration for only approximately 2 h after mitosis, and with further progression of G1-phase can establish heterochromatic interactions between distal and proximal parts of the chromosome arm. We also find evidence that somatic pairing of homologous chromosomes is disrupted during S-phase more rapidly for a euchromatic than for a heterochromatic region. Such interphase chromosome movements suggest a possible mechanism that links gene regulation via nuclear positioning to the cell cycle: delayed maturation of heterochromatin during G1-phase delays establishment of a silent chromatin state.

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