The forkhead transcription factor FoxI1 remains bound to condensed mitotic chromosomes and stably remodels chromatin structure.
All forkhead (Fox) proteins contain a highly conserved DNA binding domain whose structure is remarkably similar to the winged-helix structures of histones H1 and H5. Little is known about Fox protein binding in the context of higher-order chromatin structure in living cells. We created a stable cell line expressing FoxI1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) or FoxI1-V5 fusion proteins under control of the reverse tetracycline-controlled transactivator doxycycline inducible system and found that unlike most transcription factors, FoxI1 remains bound to the condensed chromosomes during mitosis. To isolate DNA fragments directly bound by the FoxI1 protein within living cells, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation assays (ChIPs) with antibodies to either enhanced GFP or the V5 epitope and subcloned the FoxI1-enriched DNA fragments. Sequence analyses indicated that 88% (106/121) of ChIP sequences contain the consensus binding sites for all Fox proteins. Testing ChIP sequences with a quantitative DNase I hypersensitivity assay showed that FoxI1 created stable DNase I sensitivity changes in condensed chromosomes. The majority of ChIP targets and random targets increased in resistance to DNase I in FoxI1-expressing cells, but a small number of targets became more accessible to DNase I. Consistently, the accessibility of micrococcal nuclease to chromatin was generally inhibited. Micrococcal nuclease partial digestion generated a ladder in which all oligonucleosomes were slightly longer than those observed with the controls. On the basis of these findings, we propose that FoxI1 is capable of remodeling chromatin higher-order structure and can stably create site-specific changes in chromatin to either stably create or remove DNase I hypersensitive sites.
Yan, J; Xu, L; Crawford, G; Wang, Z; Burgess, SM
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