Human gamma-satellite DNA maintains open chromatin structure and protects a transgene from epigenetic silencing.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The role of repetitive DNA sequences in pericentromeric regions with respect to kinetochore/heterochromatin structure and function is poorly understood. Here, we use a mouse erythroleukemia cell (MEL) system for studying how repetitive DNA assumes or is assembled into different chromatin structures. We show that human gamma-satellite DNA arrays allow a transcriptionally permissive chromatin conformation in an adjacent transgene and efficiently protect it from epigenetic silencing. These arrays contain CTCF and Ikaros binding sites. In MEL cells, this gamma-satellite DNA activity depends on binding of Ikaros proteins involved in differentiation along the hematopoietic pathway. Given our discovery of gamma-satellite DNA in pericentromeric regions of most human chromosomes and a dynamic chromatin state of gamma-satellite arrays in their natural location, we suggest that gamma-satellite DNA represents a unique region of the functional centromere with a possible role in preventing heterochromatin spreading beyond the pericentromeric region.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kim, J-H; Ebersole, T; Kouprina, N; Noskov, VN; Ohzeki, J-I; Masumoto, H; Mravinac, B; Sullivan, BA; Pavlicek, A; Dovat, S; Pack, SD; Kwon, Y-W; Flanagan, PT; Loukinov, D; Lobanenkov, V; Larionov, V

Published Date

  • April 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 533 - 544

PubMed ID

  • 19141594

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2665773

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1088-9051

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/gr.086496.108


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States