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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (29)
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- The International Journal of Developmental Biology
- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
- Journal of Neurobiology
- Journal of Cellular Biochemistry
- Journal of Cell Science
- Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000)
- Development (Cambridge, England)
- Journal of Cell Science
- The Journal of Biological Chemistry
- Development (Cambridge, England)
- Advances in Genetics
- Development (Cambridge, England)
- Methods (San Diego, Calif.)
- Developmental Biology
- Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists
- Chromosome Research : an International Journal on the Molecular, Supramolecular and Evolutionary Aspects of Chromosome Biology
- Molecules and Cells
- Journal of Cell Science
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Articles by Jack Girton in JoVE
De voorbereiding van Drosophila polytheen Chromosoom Pompoenen voor antilichaam Labeling
Weili Cai, Ye Jin, Jack Girton, Jorgen Johansen, Kristen M. Johansen
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, Iowa State University
Deze video protocol illustreert de squash techniek die gebruikt wordt in de Johansen laboratorium voor te bereiden
Other articles by Jack Girton on PubMed
A Developmentally Regulated Splice Variant from the Complex Lola Locus Encoding Multiple Different Zinc Finger Domain Proteins Interacts with the Chromosomal Kinase JIL-1
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Mar, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12538650
Using a yeast two-hybrid screen we have identified a novel isoform of the lola locus, Lola zf5, that interacts with the chromosomal kinase JIL-1. We characterized the lola locus and provide evidence that it is a complex locus from which at least 17 different splice variants are likely to be generated. Fifteen of these each have a different zinc finger domain, whereas two are without. This potential for expression of multiple gene products suggests that they serve diverse functional roles in different developmental contexts. By Northern and Western blot analyses we demonstrate that the expression of Lola zf5 is developmentally regulated and that it is restricted to early embryogenesis. Immunocytochemical labeling with a Lola zf5-specific antibody of Drosophila embryos indicates that Lola zf5 is localized to nuclei. Furthermore, by creating double-mutant flies we show that a reduction of Lola protein levels resulting from mutations in the lola locus acts as a dominant modifier of a hypomorphic JIL-1 allele leading to an increase in embryonic viability. Thus, genetic interaction assays provide direct evidence that gene products from the lola locus function within the same pathway as the chromosomal kinase JIL-1.
The Drosophila Pleiohomeotic Mutation Enhances the Polycomblike and Polycomb Mutant Phenotypes During Embryogenesis and in the Adult
The International Journal of Developmental Biology. Sep, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14584776
In Drosophila, the spatially restricted expression of the homeotic genes is controlled by Polycomb group (PcG) repression. PcG proteins appear to form different complexes to repress this gene expression. Although the pleiohomeotic gene (pho) shares mutational phenotypes with other PcG mutations, which demonstrates that PHO binds directly with a Polycomb (Pc)-containing complex, the genetic interactions of pho with other PcG genes have not been examined in detail. Here we investigated whether pho interacts with Polycomblike (Pcl) and Polycomb (Pc) during embryonic and adult development using developmental and genetic approaches. Pcl and Pc strongly enhanced pho phenotypes in the legs and tergite of the adult fly. Embryonic cuticle transformation was also greatly enhanced in Pcl; pho or Pc; pho double mutant embryos. The double mutant phenotypes were more severely affected by the pho maternal effect mutation than in zygotic mutant background, suggesting dosage-dependent processes. Taken together, these results provide genetic evidence of an interaction between PHO with other Polycomb group proteins at the embryonic and adult stages, and of the functioning of PHO as a component of the PcG complex.
Genetic and Phenotypic Analysis of Alleles of the Drosophila Chromosomal JIL-1 Kinase Reveals a Functional Requirement at Multiple Developmental Stages
Genetics. Nov, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14668387
In this study we provide a cytological and genetic characterization of the JIL-1 locus in Drosophila. JIL-1 is an essential chromosomal tandem kinase and in JIL-1 null animals chromatin structure is severely perturbed. Using a range of JIL-1 hypomorphic mutations, we show that they form an allelic series. JIL-1 has a strong maternal effect and JIL-1 activity is required at all stages of development, including embryonic, larval, and pupal stages. Furthermore, we identified a new allele of JIL-1, JIL-1(h9), that encodes a truncated protein missing COOH-terminal sequences. Remarkably, the truncated JIL-1 protein can partially restore viability without rescuing the defects in polytene chromosome organization. This suggests that sequences within this region of JIL-1 play an important role in establishing and/or maintaining normal chromatin structure. By analyzing the effects of JIL-1 mutations we provide evidence that JIL-1 function is necessary for the normal progression of several developmental processes at different developmental stages such as oogenesis and segment specification. We propose that JIL-1 may exert such effects by a general regulation of chromatin structure affecting gene expression.
Megator, an Essential Coiled-coil Protein That Localizes to the Putative Spindle Matrix During Mitosis in Drosophila
Molecular Biology of the Cell. Nov, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15356261
We have used immunocytochemistry and cross-immunoprecipitation analysis to demonstrate that Megator (Bx34 antigen), a Tpr ortholog in Drosophila with an extended coiled-coil domain, colocalizes with the putative spindle matrix proteins Skeletor and Chromator during mitosis. Analysis of P-element mutations in the Megator locus showed that Megator is an essential protein. During interphase Megator is localized to the nuclear rim and occupies the intranuclear space surrounding the chromosomes. However, during mitosis Megator reorganizes and aligns together with Skeletor and Chromator into a fusiform spindle structure. The Megator metaphase spindle persists in the absence of microtubule spindles, strongly implying that the existence of the Megator-defined spindle does not require polymerized microtubules. Deletion construct analysis in S2 cells indicates that the COOH-terminal part of Megator without the coiled-coil region was sufficient for both nuclear as well as spindle localization. In contrast, the NH2-terminal coiled-coil region remains in the cytoplasm; however, we show that it is capable of assembling into spherical structures. On the basis of these findings we propose that the COOH-terminal domain of Megator functions as a targeting and localization domain, whereas the NH2-terminal domain is responsible for forming polymers that may serve as a structural basis for the putative spindle matrix complex.
Chromator, a Novel and Essential Chromodomain Protein Interacts Directly with the Putative Spindle Matrix Protein Skeletor
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Nov, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15389869
We have used a yeast two-hybrid interaction assay to identify Chromator, a novel chromodomain containing protein that interacts directly with the putative spindle matrix protein Skeletor. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that Chromator and Skeletor show extensive co-localization throughout the cell cycle. During interphase Chromator is localized on chromosomes to interband chromatin regions in a pattern that overlaps that of Skeletor. However, during mitosis both Chromator and Skeletor detach from the chromosomes and align together in a spindle-like structure. Deletion construct analysis in S2 cells showed that the COOH-terminal half of Chromator without the chromodomain was sufficient for both nuclear as well as spindle localization. Analysis of P-element mutations in the Chromator locus shows that Chromator is an essential protein. Furthermore, RNAi depletion of Chromator in S2 cells leads to abnormal microtubule spindle morphology and to chromosome segregation defects. These findings suggest that Chromator is a nuclear protein that plays a role in proper spindle dynamics during mitosis.
D-Hillarin, a Novel W180-domain Protein, Affects Cytokinesis Through Interaction with the Septin Family Member Pnut
Journal of Neurobiology. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15818553
By database searches of the Drosophila genome project we have identified D-hil as the fly member of a novel family of W180-domain containing proteins. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated that D-hil is localized to the neuropil of the embryonic CNS, to the cellular cortex of dividing neuroblasts from larval brains, and that it is up-regulated in the cleavage furrow of S2 cells. We show that D-hil distribution overlaps extensively with that of the septin family member Pnut. Cross-immunoprecipitation experiments further indicated that the two proteins may be members of the same protein complex. Analysis of a severe hypomorphic P-element mutation in the D-hil locus suggested that D-hil is a nonessential protein. However, by creating double mutant flies we show that the D-hil locus acts as a modulator of Pnut function by increasing the level of polyploidy of neuroblasts in Pnut(KG00478)/Pnut(KG00478) larval brains. Based on these results we propose that D-hil may function as a regulator of septin function during cytokinesis in the developing nervous system.
EAST Interacts with Megator and Localizes to the Putative Spindle Matrix During Mitosis in Drosophila
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15962301
We have used immunocytochemistry to demonstrate that the EAST protein in Drosophila, which forms an expandable nuclear endoskeleton at interphase, redistributes during mitosis to colocalize with the spindle matrix proteins, Megator and Skeletor. EAST and Megator also colocalize to the intranuclear space surrounding the chromosomes at interphase. EAST is a novel protein that does not have any previously characterized motifs or functional domains. However, we show by immunoprecipitation experiments that EAST is likely to molecularly interact with Megator which has a large NH2-terminal coiled-coil domain with the capacity for self assembly. On the basis of these findings, we propose that Megator and EAST interact to form a nuclear endoskeleton and as well are important components of the putative spindle matrix complex during mitosis.
Chromosoma. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15986206
The JIL-1 kinase localizes to interband regions of Drosophila polytene chromosomes and phosphorylates histone H3 Ser10. Analysis of JIL-1 hypomorphic alleles demonstrated that reduced levels of JIL-1 protein lead to global changes in polytene chromatin structure. Here we have performed a detailed ultrastructural and cytological analysis of the defects in JIL-1 mutant chromosomes. We show that all autosomes and the female X chromosome are similarly affected, whereas the defects in the male X chromosome are qualitatively different. In polytene autosomes, loss of JIL-1 leads to misalignment of interband chromatin fibrils and to increased ectopic contacts between nonhomologous regions. Furthermore, there is an abnormal coiling of the chromosomes with an intermixing of euchromatic regions and the compacted chromatin characteristic of banded regions. In contrast, coiling of the male X polytene chromosome was not observed. Instead, the shortening of the male X chromosome appeared to be caused by increased dispersal of the chromatin into a diffuse network without any discernable banded regions. To account for the observed phenotypes we propose a model in which JIL-1 functions to establish or maintain the parallel alignment of interband chromosome fibrils as well as to repress the formation of contacts and intermingling of nonhomologous chromatid regions.
The JIL-1 Kinase Interacts with Lamin Dm0 and Regulates Nuclear Lamina Morphology of Drosophila Nurse Cells
Journal of Cell Science. Nov, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16254246
We have used a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify lamin Dm0 as an interaction partner for the nuclear JIL-1 kinase. This molecular interaction was confirmed by GST-fusion protein pull-down assays and by co-immunoprecipitation experiments. Using deletion construct analysis we show that a predicted globular domain of the basic region of the COOH-terminal domain of JIL-1 was sufficient for mediating the molecular interactions with lamin Dm0. A reciprocal analysis with truncated lamin Dm0 constructs showed that the interaction with JIL-1 required sequences in the tail domain of lamin Dm0 that include the Ig-like fold. Further support for a molecular interaction between JIL-1 and lamin Dm0 in vivo was provided by genetic interaction assays. We show that nuclear positioning and lamina morphology were abnormal in JIL-1 mutant egg chambers. The most common phenotypes observed were abnormal nurse cell nuclear lamina protrusions through the ring canals near the oocyte, as well as dispersed and mislocalized lamin throughout the egg chamber. These phenotypes were completely rescued by a full-length JIL-1 transgenic construct. Thus, our results suggest that the JIL-1 kinase is required to maintain nuclear morphology and integrity of nurse cells during oogenesis and that this function may be linked to molecular interactions with lamin Dm0.
JIL-1 Kinase, a Member of the Male-specific Lethal (MSL) Complex, is Necessary for Proper Dosage Compensation of Eye Pigmentation in Drosophila
Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000). Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16307450
The upregulation of the JIL-1 kinase on the male X chromosome and its association with the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex suggest that JIL-1 may play a role in regulating dosage compensation. To directly test this hypothesis we measured eye pigment levels of mutants in the X-linked white gene in an allelic series of JIL-1 hypomorphic mutants. We show that dosage compensation of w(a) alleles that normally do exhibit dosage compensation was severely impaired in the JIL-1 mutant backgrounds. As a control we also examined a hypomorphic white allele w(e) that fails to dosage compensate in males due to a pogo element insertion. In this case the relative pigment level measured in males as compared to females remained approximately the same even in the most severe JIL-1 hypomorphic background. These results indicate that proper dosage compensation of eye pigment levels in males controlled by X-linked white alleles requires normal JIL-1 function.
The JIL-1 Histone H3S10 Kinase Regulates Dimethyl H3K9 Modifications and Heterochromatic Spreading in Drosophila
Development (Cambridge, England). Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16339185
In this study, we show that a reduction in the levels of the JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase results in the spreading of the major heterochromatin markers dimethyl H3K9 and HP1 to ectopic locations on the chromosome arms, with the most pronounced increase on the X chromosomes. Genetic interaction assays demonstrated that JIL-1 functions in vivo in a pathway that includes Su(var)3-9, which is a major catalyst for dimethylation of the histone H3K9 residue, HP1 recruitment, and the formation of silenced heterochromatin. We further provide evidence that JIL-1 activity and localization are not affected by the absence of Su(var)3-9 activity, suggesting that JIL-1 is upstream of Su(var)3-9 in the pathway. Based on these findings, we propose a model where JIL-1 kinase activity functions to maintain euchromatic regions by antagonizing Su(var)3-9-mediated heterochromatization.
Loss-of-function Alleles of the JIL-1 Kinase Are Strong Suppressors of Position Effect Variegation of the Wm4 Allele in Drosophila
Genetics. Aug, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16702418
In this article we show that hypomorphic loss-of-function alleles of the JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase are strong suppressors of position effect variegation (PEV) of the wm4 allele and that lack of JIL-1 activity can counteract the effect of the dominant enhancer Evar2-1 on PEV.
The Chromodomain Protein, Chromator, Interacts with JIL-1 Kinase and Regulates the Structure of Drosophila Polytene Chromosomes
Journal of Cell Science. Jun, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16723739
In this study we have generated two new hypomorphic Chro alleles and analyzed the consequences of reduced Chromator protein function on polytene chromosome structure. We show that in Chro(71)/Chro(612) mutants the polytene chromosome arms were coiled and compacted with a disruption and misalignment of band and interband regions and with numerous ectopic contacts connecting non-homologous regions. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Chromator co-localizes with the JIL-1 kinase at polytene interband regions and that the two proteins interact within the same protein complex. That both proteins are necessary and may function together is supported by the finding that a concomitant reduction in JIL-1 and Chromator function synergistically reduces viability during development. Overlay assays and deletion construct analysis suggested that the interaction between JIL-1 and Chromator is direct and that it is mediated by sequences in the C-terminal domain of Chromator and by the acidic region within the C-terminal domain of JIL-1. Taken together these findings indicate that Chromator and JIL-1 interact in an interband-specific complex that functions to establish or maintain polytene chromosome structure in Drosophila.
Reduced Levels of Su(var)3-9 but Not Su(var)2-5 (HP1) Counteract the Effects on Chromatin Structure and Viability in Loss-of-function Mutants of the JIL-1 Histone H3S10 Kinase
Genetics. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17660558
It has recently been demonstrated that activity of the essential JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase is a major regulator of chromatin structure and that it functions to maintain euchromatic domains while counteracting heterochromatization and gene silencing. In the absence of JIL-1 kinase activity, the major heterochromatin markers histone H3K9me2 and HP1 spread in tandem to ectopic locations on the chromosome arms. In this study, we show that the lethality as well as some of the chromosome morphology defects associated with the null JIL-1 phenotype to a large degree can be rescued by reducing the dose of the Su(var)3-9 gene. This effect was observed with three different alleles of Su(var)3-9, strongly suggesting it is specific to Su(var)3-9 and not to second site modifiers. This is in contrast to similar experiments performed with alleles of the Su(var)2-5 gene that codes for HP1 in Drosophila where no genetic interactions were detectable between JIL-1 and Su(var)2-5. Taken together, these findings indicate that while Su(var)3-9 histone methyltransferase activity is a major factor in the lethality and chromatin structure perturbations associated with loss of the JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase, these effects are likely to be uncoupled from HP1.
The Lamin Dm0 Allele Ari3 Acts As an Enhancer of Position Effect Variegation of the Wm4 Allele in Drosophila
Genetica. Mar, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 16897461
The association of lamin and lamin binding proteins with peripheral heterochromatin suggests the possibility that lamins may influence gene expression by participating in the epigenetic regulation of chromatin stucture. To test this hypothesis we have examined the effect of a recently generated partial loss-of-function lamin Dm0 allele Ari3 on PEV of the wm4 allele in the Drosophila eye. The Lam ( Ari3 ) allele is characterized by a truncation of the COOH-terminal domain and lacks the CaaX box that localizes lamin to the inner nuclear membrane. We show that the Lam ( Ari3 ) allele strongly increased silencing of wm4 expression, thus acting as an enhancer of PEV. These results indicate that lamins may be involved in regulating gene silencing and heterochromatic spreading at the wm4 locus and provide evidence that lamins may contribute to the regulation of higher-order chromatin organization.
Loss-of-function Alleles of the JIL-1 Histone H3S10 Kinase Enhance Position-effect Variegation at Pericentric Sites in Drosophila Heterochromatin
Genetics. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17435241
In this study we show that loss-of-function alleles of the JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase act as enhancers of position-effect variegation at pericentric sites whereas the gain-of-function JIL-1(Su(var)3-1) allele acts as a suppressor strongly supporting a functional role for JIL-1 in maintaining euchromatic chromatin and counteracting heterochromatic spreading and gene silencing.
The COOH-terminal Domain of the JIL-1 Histone H3S10 Kinase Interacts with Histone H3 and is Required for Correct Targeting to Chromatin
The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18819909
The JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase in Drosophila localizes specifically to euchromatic interband regions of polytene chromosomes and is enriched 2-fold on the male X chromosome. JIL-1 can be divided into four main domains including an NH(2)-terminal domain, two separate kinase domains, and a COOH-terminal domain. Our results demonstrate that the COOH-terminal domain of JIL-1 is necessary and sufficient for correct chromosome targeting to autosomes but that both COOH- and NH(2)-terminal sequences are necessary for enrichment on the male X chromosome. We furthermore show that a small 53-amino acid region within the COOH-terminal domain can interact with the tail region of histone H3, suggesting that this interaction is necessary for the correct chromatin targeting of the JIL-1 kinase. Interestingly, our data indicate that the COOH-terminal domain alone is sufficient to rescue JIL-1 null mutant polytene chromosome defects including those of the male X chromosome. Nonetheless, we also found that a truncated JIL-1 protein which was without the COOH-terminal domain but retained histone H3S10 kinase activity was able to rescue autosome as well as partially rescue male X polytene chromosome morphology. Taken together these findings indicate that JIL-1 may participate in regulating chromatin structure by multiple and partially redundant mechanisms.
Development (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18199578
Histones are subject to numerous post-translational modifications that correlate with the state of higher-order chromatin structure and gene expression. However, it is not clear whether changes in these epigenetic marks are causative regulatory factors in chromatin structure changes or whether they play a mainly reinforcing or maintenance role. In Drosophila phosphorylation of histone H3S10 in euchromatic chromatin regions by the JIL-1 tandem kinase has been implicated in counteracting heterochromatization and gene silencing. Here we show, using a LacI-tethering system, that JIL-1 mediated ectopic histone H3S10 phosphorylation is sufficient to induce a change in higher-order chromatin structure from a condensed heterochromatin-like state to a more open euchromatic state. This effect was absent when a ;kinase dead' LacI-JIL-1 construct without histone H3S10 phosphorylation activity was expressed. Instead, the 'kinase dead' construct had a dominant-negative effect, leading to a disruption of chromatin structure that was associated with a global repression of histone H3S10 phosphorylation levels. These findings provide direct evidence that the epigenetic histone tail modification of H3S10 phosphorylation at interphase can function as a causative regulator of higher-order chromatin structure in Drosophila in vivo.
Advances in Genetics. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18282501
Position-effect variegation (PEV) was discovered in 1930 in a study of X-ray-induced chromosomal rearrangements. Rearrangements that place euchromatic genes adjacent to a region of centromeric heterochromatin give a variegated phenotype that results from the inactivation of genes by heterochromatin spreading from the breakpoint. PEV can also result from P element insertions that place euchromatic genes into heterochromatic regions and rearrangements that position euchromatic chromosomal regions into heterochromatic nuclear compartments. More than 75 years of studies of PEV have revealed that PEV is a complex phenomenon that results from fundamental differences in the structure and function of heterochromatin and euchromatin with respect to gene expression. Molecular analysis of PEV began with the discovery that PEV phenotypes are altered by suppressor and enhancer mutations of a large number of modifier genes whose products are structural components of heterochromatin, enzymes that modify heterochromatic proteins, or are nuclear structural components. Analysis of these gene products has led to our current understanding that formation of heterochromatin involves specific modifications of histones leading to the binding of particular sets of heterochromatic proteins, and that this process may be the mechanism for repressing gene expression in PEV. Other modifier genes produce products whose function is part of an active mechanism of generation of euchromatin that resists heterochromatization. Current studies of PEV are focusing on defining the complex patterns of modifier gene activity and the sequence of events that leads to the dynamic interplay between heterochromatin and euchromatin.
RNA Polymerase II-mediated Transcription at Active Loci Does Not Require Histone H3S10 Phosphorylation in Drosophila
Development (Cambridge, England). Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18667461
JIL-1 is the major kinase controlling the phosphorylation state of histone H3S10 at interphase in Drosophila. In this study, we used three different commercially available histone H3S10 phosphorylation antibodies, as well as an acid-free polytene chromosome squash protocol that preserves the antigenicity of the histone H3S10 phospho-epitope, to examine the role of histone H3S10 phosphorylation in transcription under both heat shock and non-heat shock conditions. We show that there is no redistribution or upregulation of JIL-1 or histone H3S10 phosphorylation at transcriptionally active puffs in such polytene squash preparations after heat shock treatment. Furthermore, we provide evidence that heat shock-induced puffs in JIL-1 null mutant backgrounds are strongly labeled by antibody to the elongating form of RNA polymerase II (Pol IIoser2), indicating that Pol IIoser2 is actively involved in heat shock-induced transcription in the absence of histone H3S10 phosphorylation. This is supported by the finding that there is no change in the levels of Pol IIoser2 in JIL-1 null mutant backgrounds compared with wild type. mRNA from the six genes that encode the major heat shock protein in Drosophila, Hsp70, is transcribed at robust levels in JIL-1 null mutants, as directly demonstrated by qRT-PCR. Taken together, these data are inconsistent with the model that Pol II-dependent transcription at active loci requires JIL-1-mediated histone H3S10 phosphorylation, and instead support a model in which transcriptional defects in the absence of histone H3S10 phosphorylation are a result of structural alterations of chromatin.
Polytene Chromosome Squash Methods for Studying Transcription and Epigenetic Chromatin Modification in Drosophila Using Antibodies
Methods (San Diego, Calif.). Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19272452
The giant polytene chromosomes from Drosophila third instar larval salivary glands provide an important model system for studying the architectural changes in chromatin morphology associated with the process of transcription initiation and elongation. Especially, analysis of the heat shock response has proved useful in correlating chromatin structure remodeling with transcriptional activity. An important tool for such studies is the labeling of polytene chromosome squash preparations with antibodies to the enzymes, transcription factors, or histone modifications of interest. However, in any immunohistochemical experiment there will be advantages and disadvantages to different methods of fixation and sample preparation, the relative merits of which must be balanced. Here we provide detailed protocols for polytene chromosome squash preparation and discuss their relative pros and cons in terms of suitability for reliable antibody labeling and preservation of high resolution chromatin structure.
Developmental Biology. Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19632217
The chromodomain protein, Chromator, has been shown to have multiple functions that include regulation of chromatin structure as well as coordination of muscle remodeling during metamorphosis depending on the developmental context. In this study we show that mitotic neuroblasts from brain squash preparations from larvae heteroallelic for the two Chromator loss-of-function alleles Chro(71) and Chro(612) have severe microtubule spindle and chromosome segregation defects that were associated with a reduction in brain size. The microtubule spindles formed were incomplete, unfocused, and/or without clear spindle poles and at anaphase chromosomes were lagging and scattered. Time-lapse analysis of mitosis in S2 cells depleted of Chromator by RNAi treatment suggested that the lagging and scattered chromosome phenotypes were caused by incomplete alignment of chromosomes at the metaphase plate, possibly due to a defective spindle-assembly checkpoint, as well as of frayed and unstable microtubule spindles during anaphase. Expression of full-length Chromator transgenes under endogenous promoter control restored both microtubule spindle morphology as well as brain size strongly indicating that the observed mutant defects were directly attributable to lack of Chromator function.
Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19890914
We have used a yeast two-hybrid interaction assay to identify Asator, a tau-tubulin kinase homolog in Drosophila that interacts directly with the spindle matrix protein Megator. Using immunocytochemical labeling by an Asator-specific mAb as well as by transgenic expression of a GFP-labeled Asator construct, we show that Asator is localized to the cytoplasm during interphase but redistributes to the spindle region during mitosis. Determination of transcript levels using qRT-PCR suggested that Asator is expressed throughout development but at relatively low levels. By P-element excision, we generated a null or strong hypomorphic Asator(exc) allele that resulted in complete adult lethality when homozygous, indicating that Asator is an essential gene. That the observed lethality was caused by impaired Asator function was further supported by the partial restoration of viability by transgenic expression of Asator-GFP in the Asator(exc) homozygous mutant background. The finding that Asator localizes to the spindle region during mitosis and directly can interact with Megator suggests that its kinase activity may be involved in regulating microtubule dynamics and microtubule spindle function.
JIL-1 and Su(var)3-7 Interact Genetically and Counteract Each Other's Effect on Position-effect Variegation in Drosophila
Genetics. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20457875
The essential JIL-1 histone H3S10 kinase is a key regulator of chromatin structure that functions to maintain euchromatic domains while counteracting heterochromatization and gene silencing. In the absence of the JIL-1 kinase, two of the major heterochromatin markers H3K9me2 and HP1a spread in tandem to ectopic locations on the chromosome arms. Here we address the role of the third major heterochromatin component, the zinc-finger protein Su(var)3-7. We show that the lethality but not the chromosome morphology defects associated with the null JIL-1 phenotype to a large degree can be rescued by reducing the dose of the Su(var)3-7 gene and that Su(var)3-7 and JIL-1 loss-of-function mutations have an antagonistic and counterbalancing effect on position-effect variegation (PEV). Furthermore, we show that in the absence of JIL-1 kinase activity, Su(var)3-7 gets redistributed and upregulated on the chromosome arms. Reducing the dose of the Su(var)3-7 gene dramatically decreases this redistribution; however, the spreading of H3K9me2 to the chromosome arms was unaffected, strongly indicating that ectopic Su(var)3-9 activity is not a direct cause of lethality. These observations suggest a model where Su(var)3-7 functions as an effector downstream of Su(var)3-9 and H3K9 dimethylation in heterochromatic spreading and gene silencing that is normally counteracted by JIL-1 kinase activity.
Do Nuclear Envelope and Intranuclear Proteins Reorganize During Mitosis to Form an Elastic, Hydrogel-like Spindle Matrix?
Chromosome Research : an International Journal on the Molecular, Supramolecular and Evolutionary Aspects of Chromosome Biology. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21274615
The idea of a spindle matrix has long been proposed in order to account for poorly understood features of mitosis. However, its molecular nature and structural composition have remained elusive. Here, we propose that the spindle matrix may be constituted by mainly nuclear-derived proteins that reorganize during the cell cycle to form an elastic gel-like matrix. We discuss this hypothesis in the context of recent observations from phylogenetically diverse organisms that nuclear envelope and intranuclear proteins form a highly dynamic and malleable structure that contributes to mitotic spindle function. We suggest that the viscoelastic properties of such a matrix may constrain spindle length while at the same time facilitating microtubule growth and dynamics as well as chromosome movement. A corollary to this hypothesis is that a key determinant of spindle size may be the amount of nuclear proteins available to form the spindle matrix. Such a matrix could also serve as a spatial regulator of spindle assembly checkpoint proteins during open and semi-open mitosis.
A Balance Between Euchromatic (JIL-1) and Heterochromatic [SU(var)2-5 and SU(var)3-9] Factors Regulates Position-effect Variegation in Drosophila
Genetics. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21515582
In this study, we show that the haplo-enhancer effect of JIL-1 has the ability to counterbalance the haplo-suppressor effect of both Su(var)3-9 and Su(var)2-5 on position-effect variegation, providing evidence that a finely tuned balance between the levels of JIL-1 and the major heterochromatin components contributes to the regulation of gene expression.
The Pleiohomeotic Functions As a Negative Regulator of Drosophila Even-skipped Gene During Embryogenesis
Molecules and Cells. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22080372
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins maintain the spatial expression patterns of genes that are involved in cell-fate specification along the anterior-posterior (A/P) axis. This repression requires cis-acting silencers, which are called PcG response elements (PREs). One of the PcG proteins, Pleiohomeotic (Pho), which has a zinc finger DNA binding protein, plays a critical role in recruiting other PcG proteins to bind to PREs. In this study, we characterized the effects of a pho mutation on embryonic segmentation. pho maternal mutant embryos showed various segmental defects including pair-rule gene mutant patterns. Our results indicated that engrailed and even-skipped genes were misexpressed in pho mutant embryos, which caused embryonic segment defects.
The Chromodomain-containing NH(2)-terminus of Chromator Interacts with Histone H1 and is Required for Correct Targeting to Chromatin
Chromosoma. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22203189
The chromodomain protein, Chromator, can be divided into two main domains, a NH(2)-terminal domain (NTD) containing the chromodomain (ChD) and a COOH-terminal domain (CTD) containing a nuclear localization signal. During interphase Chromator is localized to chromosomes; however, during cell division Chromator redistributes to form a macro molecular spindle matrix complex together with other nuclear proteins that contribute to microtubule spindle dynamics and proper chromosome segregation during mitosis. It has previously been demonstrated that the CTD is sufficient for targeting Chromator to the spindle matrix. In this study, we show that the NTD domain of Chromator is required for proper localization to chromatin during interphase and that chromosome morphology defects observed in Chromator hypomorphic mutant backgrounds can be largely rescued by expression of this domain. Furthermore, we show that the ChD domain can interact with histone H1 and that this interaction is necessary for correct chromatin targeting. Nonetheless, that localization to chromatin still occurs in the absence of the ChD indicates that Chromator possesses a second mechanism for chromatin association and we provide evidence that this association is mediated by other sequences residing in the NTD. Taken together these findings suggest that Chromator's chromatin functions are largely governed by the NH(2)-terminal domain whereas functions related to mitosis are mediated mainly by COOH-terminal sequences.
The Epigenetic H3S10 Phosphorylation Mark is Required for Counteracting Heterochromatic Spreading and Gene Silencing in Drosophila Melanogaster
Journal of Cell Science. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22247192
The JIL-1 kinase localizes specifically to euchromatin interband regions of polytene chromosomes and is the kinase responsible for histone H3S10 phosphorylation at interphase. Genetic interaction assays with strong JIL-1 hypomorphic loss-of-function alleles have demonstrated that the JIL-1 protein can counterbalance the effect of the major heterochromatin components on position-effect variegation (PEV) and gene silencing. However, it is unclear whether this was a causative effect of the epigenetic H3S10 phosphorylation mark, or whether the effect of the JIL-1 protein on PEV was in fact caused by other functions or structural features of the protein. By transgenically expressing various truncated versions of JIL-1, with or without kinase activity, and assessing their effect on PEV and heterochromatic spreading, we show that the gross perturbation of polytene chromosome morphology observed in JIL-1 null mutants is unrelated to gene silencing in PEV and is likely to occur as a result of faulty polytene chromosome alignment and/or organization, separate from epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure. Furthermore, the findings provide evidence that the epigenetic H3S10 phosphorylation mark itself is necessary for preventing the observed heterochromatic spreading independently of any structural contributions from the JIL-1 protein.