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Mol Cell. 2000 Nov;6(5):1025-35.

A chromatin insulator determines the nuclear localization of DNA.

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Department of Biology The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Chromatin insulators might regulate gene expression by controlling the subnuclear organization of DNA. We found that a DNA sequence normally located inside of the nucleus moved to the periphery when the gypsy insulator was placed within the sequence. The presence of the gypsy insulator also caused two sequences, normally found in different regions of the nucleus, to come together at a single location. Alterations in this subnuclear organization imposed by the gypsy insulator correlated with changes in gene expression that took place during the heat-shock response. These global changes in transcription were accompanied by dramatic alterations in the distribution of insulator proteins and DNA. The results suggest that the nuclear organization imposed by the gypsy insulator on the chromatin fiber is important for gene expression.

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