Two new chromodomain-containing proteins that associate with heterochromatin in Sciara coprophila chromosomes

Abstract

We report here the molecular and cytological characterization of two proteins, ScoHET1 and ScoHET2 (for Sciara coprophila heterochromatin), which associate to constitutive heterochromatin in the dipteran S. coprophila. Both proteins, ScoHET1 of 37 kDa and ScoHET2 of 44 kDa, display two chromodomain motifs that contain the conserved residues essential for the recognition of methylated histone H3 at lysine 9. We raised antibodies to analyze the chromosomal location of ScoHET1 and ScoHET2 in somatic and germline cells. In S. coprophila polytene chromosomes, both proteins associate to the pericentromeric regions and to the heterochromatic subterminal bands of the chromosomes. In germinal nuclei, ScoHET1 and ScoHET2 proteins distribute to the heterochromatic regions of the regular chromosome complement and are abundantly present along the heterochromatic germline-limited “L” chromosomes. We investigated histone methylation modifications and found that all heterochromatic regions enriched in ScoHET1/ScoHET2 proteins exhibit high levels of di- and tri-methylated histone H3 at lysine 9. Taken together, our results support that the association of ScoHET1/ScoHET2 to heterochromatin is mediated by histone H3K9 methylation. Using 5-methylcytosine antibodies, we proved the cytological detection of DNA methylation in S. coprophila. From our observations in L germline chromosomes, heterochromatin in S. coprophila is highly enriched in DNA 5-methylcytosine residues.

DOI: 10.1007/s00412-009-0203-y

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@article{Greciano2009TwoNC, title={Two new chromodomain-containing proteins that associate with heterochromatin in Sciara coprophila chromosomes}, author={Patricia G. Greciano and Mar{\'i}a Fernanda Ruiz and Leonor Kremer and Clara Goday}, journal={Chromosoma}, year={2009}, volume={118}, pages={361-376} }