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Chromosome Res. 2011 Feb;19(2):235-49. doi: 10.1007/s10577-011-9193-8. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

The SUUR protein is involved in binding of SU(VAR)3-9 and methylation of H3K9 and H3K27 in chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine, Lavrentiev Ave., 8, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.


In the present work, we found that the SUUR protein is required for the SU(VAR)3-9 enzyme to bind to the salivary gland polytene chromosomes. The SuUR mutation results in loss of SU(VAR)3-9 on the chromosomes, whereas artificial expression of the SuUR gene restores its binding. The SUUR protein is also involved in methylation of the residues H3K9 and H3K27. However, mono-, di-, and tri-methylated forms of H3K9 and H3K27 behave differently in various chromosomal domains in response to the SuUR mutation. Euchromatin and chromosome 4 are almost completely deprived of mono-, di-, and tri-methylation of H3K9. In the chromocenter, mono-methylation is reduced, di-methylation shows no noticeable changes, and tri-methylation is lost. Furthermore, mono- and di-methylation of H3K27 are not influenced by the SuUR mutation, whereas tri-methylation is lost in the chromocenter. Artificial expression of the SuUR gene on the SuUR (-) background restores the pattern of methylated residues characteristic for the wild type.

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