The Drosophila MSL complex acetylates histone H4 at lysine 16, a chromatin modification linked to dosage compensation

Edwin R. Smith, Antonio Pannuti, Weigang Gu, Arnd Steurnagel, Richard G. Cook, C. David Allis, John C. Lucchesi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

257 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Drosophila, dosage compensation - the equalization of most X-linked gene products in males and females - is achieved by a twofold enhancement of the level of transcription of the X chromosome in males relative to each X chromosome in females. A complex consisting of at least five gene products preferentially binds the X chromosome at numerous sites in males and results in a significant increase in the presence of a specific histone isoform, histone 4 acetylated at lysine 16. Recently, RNA transcripts (roX1 and roX2) encoded by two different genes have also been found associated with the X chromosome in males. We have partially purified a complex containing MSL1, - 2, and -3, MOF, MLE, and roX2 RNA and demonstrated that it exclusively acetylates H4 at lysine 16 on nucleosomal substrates. These results demonstrate that the MSL complex is responsible for the specific chromatin modification characteristic of the X chromosome in Drosophila males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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