A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants

P B Singh, J R Miller, J Pearce, R Kothary, R D Burton, R Paro, T C James, S J Gaunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

219 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modifiers of position-effect-variegation in Drosophila encode proteins that are thought to modify chromatin, rendering it heritably changed in its expressibility. In an attempt to identify similar modifier genes in other species we have utilized a known sequence homology, termed chromo box, between a suppressor of position-effect-variegation, Heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), and a repressor of homeotic genes, Polycomb (Pc). A PCR generated probe encompassing the HP1 chromo box was used to clone full-length murine cDNAs that contain conserved chromo box motifs. Sequence comparisons, in situ hybridization experiments, and RNA Northern blot analysis suggest that the murine and human sequences presented in this report are homologues of the Drosophila HP1 gene. Chromo box sequences can also be detected in other animal species, and in plants, predicting a strongly conserved structural role for the peptide encoded by this sequence. We propose that epigenetic (yet heritable) changes in gene expressibility, characteristic of chromosomal imprinting phenomena, can largely be explained by the action of such modifier genes. The evolutionary conservation of the chromo box motif now enables the isolation and study of putative modifier genes in those animal and plant species where chromosomal imprinting has been described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-94
Number of pages6
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 25 1991
Externally publishedYes

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Modifier Genes
Heterochromatin
Chromosomal Position Effects
Homeobox Genes
Sequence Homology
Epigenomics
Northern Blotting
Genes
Chromatin
In Situ Hybridization
Complementary DNA
Clone Cells
RNA
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Peptides
Drosophila arc protein
heterochromatin-specific nonhistone chromosomal protein HP-1

Keywords

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Heterochromatin
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Plants
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

Singh, P. B., Miller, J. R., Pearce, J., Kothary, R., Burton, R. D., Paro, R., ... Gaunt, S. J. (1991). A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants. Nucleic Acids Research, 19(4), 789-94.

A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants. / Singh, P B; Miller, J R; Pearce, J; Kothary, R; Burton, R D; Paro, R; James, T C; Gaunt, S J.

In: Nucleic Acids Research, Vol. 19, No. 4, 25.02.1991, p. 789-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Singh, PB, Miller, JR, Pearce, J, Kothary, R, Burton, RD, Paro, R, James, TC & Gaunt, SJ 1991, 'A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants', Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 789-94.
Singh PB, Miller JR, Pearce J, Kothary R, Burton RD, Paro R et al. A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants. Nucleic Acids Research. 1991 Feb 25;19(4):789-94.
Singh, P B ; Miller, J R ; Pearce, J ; Kothary, R ; Burton, R D ; Paro, R ; James, T C ; Gaunt, S J. / A sequence motif found in a Drosophila heterochromatin protein is conserved in animals and plants. In: Nucleic Acids Research. 1991 ; Vol. 19, No. 4. pp. 789-94.
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