Chromosome-specific gene regulation is known thus far only as a mechanism to equalize the transcriptional activity of the single male X chromosome with that of the two female X chromosomes. In Drosophila melanogaster, a complex including the five Male-Specific Lethal (MSL) proteins, "paints" the male X chromosome, mediating its hypertranscription. Here, with the molecular cloning of Painting of fourth (Pof), we describe a previously uncharacterized gene encoding a chromosome-specific protein in Drosophila. Unlike the MSL proteins, POF paints an autosome, the fourth chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. Chromosome translocation analysis shows that the binding depends on an initiation site in the proximal region of chromosome 4 and spreads in cis to involve the entire chromosome. The spreading depends on sequences or structures specific to chromosome 4 and cannot extend to parts of other chromosomes translocated to the fourth. Spreading can also occur in trans to a paired homologue that lacks the initiation region. In the related species Drosophila busckii, POF paints the entire X chromosome exclusively in males, suggesting relationships between the fourth chromosome and the X and between POF complexes and dosage-compensation complexes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - May 22 2001|
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