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PLoS One. 2008 May 7;3(5):e2099. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002099.

The chromatin remodelling factor dATRX is involved in heterochromatin formation.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. arb43@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

Despite extensive study of heterochromatin, relatively little is known about the mechanisms by which such a structure forms. We show that the Drosophila homologue of the human alpha-thalassemia and mental retardation X-linked protein (dATRX), is important in the formation or maintenance of heterochromatin through modification of position effect variegation. We further show that there are two isoforms of the dATRX protein, the longer of which interacts directly with heterochromatin protein 1 (dHP-1) through a CxVxL motif both in vitro and in vivo. These two proteins co-localise at heterochromatin in a manner dependent on this motif. Consistent with this observation, the long isoform of the dATRX protein localises primarily to the heterochromatin at the chromocentre on salivary gland polytene chromosomes, whereas the short isoform binds to many sites along the chromosome arms. We suggest that the establishment of a regular nucleosomal organisation may be common to heterochromatin and transcriptionally repressed chromatin in other locations, and may require the action of ATP dependent chromatin remodelling factors.

PMID:
18461125
PMCID:
PMC2324200
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0002099
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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