CDK-Regulated Phase Separation Seeded by Histone Genes Ensures Precise Growth and Function of Histone Locus Bodies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Many membraneless organelles form through liquid-liquid phase separation, but how their size is controlled and whether size is linked to function remain poorly understood. The histone locus body (HLB) is an evolutionarily conserved nuclear body that regulates the transcription and processing of histone mRNAs. Here, we show that Drosophila HLBs form through phase separation. During embryogenesis, the size of HLBs is controlled in a precise and dynamic manner that is dependent on the cell cycle and zygotic histone gene activation. Control of HLB growth is achieved by a mechanism integrating nascent mRNAs at the histone locus, which facilitates phase separation, and the nuclear concentration of the scaffold protein multi-sex combs (Mxc), which is controlled by the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases. Reduced Cdk2 activity results in smaller HLBs and the appearance of nascent, misprocessed histone mRNAs. Thus, our experiments identify a mechanism linking nuclear body growth and size with gene expression.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hur, W; Kemp, JP; Tarzia, M; Deneke, VE; Marzluff, WF; Duronio, RJ; Di Talia, S

Published Date

  • August 10, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 379 - 394.e6

PubMed ID

  • 32579968

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7423771

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1551

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.devcel.2020.06.003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States