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EMBO J. 2007 May 2;26(9):2307-16. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Painting of fourth and chromosome-wide regulation of the 4th chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster.

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UCMP, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


Drosophila melanogaster exhibits two expression-regulating systems that target whole, specific chromosomes: the dosage compensation system whereby the male-specific lethal complex doubles transcription of genes on the male X-chromosome and the chromosome 4-specific protein Painting of fourth, POF. POF is the first example of an autosome-specific protein and its presence raises the question of the universality of chromosome-specific regulation. Here we show that POF and heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) are involved in the global regulation of the 4th chromosome. Contrary to previous conclusions, Pof is not essential for survival of diplo-4th karyotype flies. However, Pof is essential for survival of haplo-4th individuals and expression of chromosome 4 genes in diplo-4th individuals is decreased in the absence of Pof. Mapping of POF using chromatin immunoprecipitation suggested that it binds within genes. Furthermore, we show that POF binding is dependent on heterochromatin and that POF and HP1 bind interdependently to the 4th chromosome. We propose a balancing mechanism involving POF and HP1 that provides a feedback system for fine-tuning expression status of genes on the 4th chromosome.

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