High-resolution ChIP-chip analysis reveals that the Drosophila MSL complex selectively identifies active genes on the male X chromosome.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Genes & Development (Impact Factor: 12.64). 05/2006; 20(7):848-57. DOI: 10.1101/gad.1400206
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT X-chromosome dosage compensation in Drosophila requires the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex, which up-regulates gene expression from the single male X chromosome. Here, we define X-chromosome-specific MSL binding at high resolution in two male cell lines and in late-stage embryos. We find that the MSL complex is highly enriched over most expressed genes, with binding biased toward the 3' end of transcription units. The binding patterns are largely similar in the distinct cell types, with approximately 600 genes clearly bound in all three cases. Genes identified as clearly bound in one cell type and not in another indicate that attraction of MSL complex correlates with expression state. Thus, sequence alone is not sufficient to explain MSL targeting. We propose that the MSL complex recognizes most X-linked genes, but only in the context of chromatin factors or modifications indicative of active transcription. Distinguishing expressed genes from the bulk of the genome is likely to be an important function common to many chromatin organizing and modifying activities.

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    ABSTRACT: In many animals, males have one X and females have two X chromosomes. The difference in X chromosome dosage between the two sexes is compensated by mechanisms that regulate X chromosome transcription. Recent advances in genomic techniques have provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms of X chromosome dosage compensation. In this review, I summarize our current understanding of dosage imbalance in general, and then review the molecular mechanisms of X chromosome dosage compensation with an emphasis on the parallels and differences between the three well-studied model systems, M. musculus, D. melanogaster and C. elegans.
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    ABSTRACT: In Drosophila melanogaster, the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex has been studied extensively for its role in upregulating male X-linked genes. Recent advances in high-throughput technologies have improved our understanding of how the MSL complex mediates dosage compensation through chromosome-wide chromatin modifications. Most studies, however, have focused on cell line models that cannot reflect any potential heterogeneity of in vivo dosage compensation. Comparisons between cell line and organismal gene-level dosage compensation upregulation suggest the possibility of variation in MSL complex activity among somatic tissues. We hypothesize the degree, up to but not exceeding 2-fold, to which the MSL complex upregulates male X-linked genes varies quantitatively by tissue type. In this model, MSL complex abundance acts as a rheostat to control the extent of upregulation. Using publicly available expression data, we provide evidence for our model in Drosophila somatic tissues. Specifically, we find X-to-autosome expression correlates with the tissue-specific expression of msl-2 which encodes an essential male-specific component of the MSL complex. This result suggests MSL complex mediated dosage compensation varies quantitatively by tissue type. Furthermore, this result has consequences for models explaining the organismal-scale molecular and evolutionary consequences of MSL-mediated dosage compensation.
    01/2015; 3:e771. DOI:10.7717/peerj.771


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