Multiple single-stranded cis elements are associated with activated chromatin of the human c-myc gene in vivo.
Transcription activation and repression of eukaryotic genes are associated with conformational and topological changes of the DNA and chromatin, altering the spectrum of proteins associated with an active gene. Segments of the human c-myc gene possessing non-B structure in vivo located with enzymatic and chemical probes. Sites hypertensive to cleavage with single-strand-specific S1 nuclease or the single-strand-selective agent potassium permanganate included the major promoters P1 and P2 as well as the far upstream sequence element (FUSE) and CT elements, which bind, respectively, the single-strand-specific factors FUSE-binding protein and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K in vitro. Active and inactive c-myc genes yielded different patterns of S1 nuclease and permanganate sensitivity, indicating alternative chromatin configurations of active and silent genes. The melting of specific cis elements of active c-myc genes in vivo suggested that transcriptionally associated torsional strain might assist strand separation and facilitate factor binding. Therefore, the interaction of FUSE-binding protein and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K with supercoiled DNA was studied. Remarkably, both proteins recognize their respective elements torsionally strained but not as liner duplexes. Single-strand- or supercoil-dependent gene regulatory proteins may directly link alterations in DNA conformation and topology with changes in gene expression.
Michelotti, GA; Michelotti, EF; Pullner, A; Duncan, RC; Eick, D; Levens, D
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