A plasmid model system shows that Drosophila dosage compensation depends on the global acetylation of histone H4 at lysine 16 and is not affected by depletion of common transcription elongation chromatin marks

Ruth Yokoyama, Antonio Pannuti, Huiping Ling, Edwin R. Smith, John C. Lucchesi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dosage compensation refers to the equalization of most X-linked gene products between males, which have one X chromosome and a single dose of X-linked genes, and females, which have two X's and two doses of such genes. We developed a plasmid-based model of dosage compensation that allows new experimental approaches for the study of this regulatory mechanism. In Drosophila melanogaster, an enhanced rate of transcription of the X chromosome in males is dependent upon the presence of histone H4 acetylated at lysine 16. This chromatin mark occurs throughout active transcriptional units, leading us to the conclusion that the enhanced level of transcription is achieved through an enhanced rate of RNA polymerase elongation. We used the plasmid model to demonstrate that enhancement in the level of transcription does not depend on other histone marks and factors that have been associated with the process of elongation, thereby highlighting the special role played by histone H4 acetylated at lysine 16 in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7865-7870
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume27
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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