H Saumweber

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany

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Publications (52)341.1 Total impact

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    Miao Gan, Selina Moebus, Harald Eggert, Harald Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: The conserved band-interband pattern is thought to reflect the looped-domain organization of insect polytene chromosomes. Previously, we have shown that the chromodomain protein Chriz and the zinc-finger protein Z4 are essentially required for the maintenance of polytene chromosome structure. Here we show that both proteins form a complex that recruits the JIL-1 kinase to polytene chromosomes, enabling local H3S10 phosphorylation of interband nucleosomal histones. Interband targeting domains were identified at the N-terminal regions of Chriz and Z4, and our data suggest partial cooperation of the complex with the BEAF boundary element protein in polytene and diploid cells. Reducing the core component Chriz by RNAi results in destabilization of the complex and a strong reduction of interband-specific histone H3S10 phosphorylation.
    Journal of Biosciences 08/2011; 36(3):425-38. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The PEV-modifying winged-helix/forkhead domain transcription factor JUMU of Drosophila is an essential protein of pleiotropic function. The correct gene dose of jumu is required for nucleolar integrity and correct nucleolus function. Overexpression of jumu results in bloating of euchromatic chromosome arms, displacement of the JUMU protein from the chromocenter and the nucleolus, fragile weak points, and disrupted chromocenter of polytene chromosomes. Overexpression of the acidic C terminus of JUMU alone causes nucleolus disorganization. In addition, euchromatic genes are overexpressed and HP1, which normally accumulates in the pericentric heterochromatin and spreads into euchromatic chromosome arms, although H3-K9 di-methylation remains restricted to the pericentric heterochromatin. The human winged-helix nude gene shows similarities to jumu and its overexpression in Drosophila causes bristle mutations.
    Chromosome Research 03/2010; 18(3):307-24. · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The MYST histone acetyltransferase (HAT) dTip60 is part of a multimeric protein complex that unites both HAT and chromatin remodeling activities. Here, we sought to gain insight into the biological functions of dTip60. Strong ubiquitous dTip60 knock-down in flies was lethal, whereas knock-down in the wing imaginal disk led to developmental defects in the wing. dTip60 localized to the nucleus in early embryos and was present in a large number of interbands on polytene chromosomes. Genome-wide expression analysis upon depletion of dTip60 in cell culture showed that it regulated a large number of genes in Drosophila, among which those with chromatin-related functions were highly enriched. Surprisingly, a significant portion of these genes were upregulated upon dTip60 loss, indicating that dTip60 has repressive as well as activating functions. dTip60 protein was directly located at promoter regions of a subset of repressed genes, suggesting a direct role in gene repression. Comparison of the gene expression signature of dTip60 downregulation with that of histone deacetylase inhibition with trichostatin A revealed a significant correlation, suggesting that the dTip60 complex recruits an HDAC-containing complex to regulate gene expression in the Drosophila genome.
    Chromosoma 12/2009; 119(1):99-113. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For the compact Drosophila genome, several factors mediating insulator function, such as su(Hw) and dCTCF, have been identified. Recent analyses showed that both these insulator-binding factors are functionally dependent on the same cofactor, CP190. Here we analysed genome-wide binding of CP190 and dCTCF. CP190 binding was detected at CTCF, su(Hw) and GAF sites and unexpectedly at the transcriptional start sites of actively transcribed genes. Both insulator and transcription start site CP190-binding elements are strictly marked by a depletion of histone H3 and, therefore, a loss of nucleosome occupancy. In addition, CP190/dCTCF double occupancy was seen at the borders of many H3K27me3 'islands'. As before, these sites were also depleted of H3. Loss of either dCTCF or CP190 causes an increase of H3 and H3K27 trimethylation at these sites. Thus, for both types of cis-regulatory elements, domain borders and promoters, the chromatin structure is dependent on CP190.
    The EMBO Journal 03/2009; 28(7):877-88. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insulator sequences guide the function of distantly located enhancer elements to the appropriate target genes by blocking inappropriate interactions. In Drosophila, five different insulator binding proteins have been identified, Zw5, BEAF-32, GAGA factor, Su(Hw) and dCTCF. Only dCTCF has a known conserved counterpart in vertebrates. Here we find that the structurally related factors dCTCF and Su(Hw) have distinct binding targets. In contrast, the Su(Hw) interacting factor CP190 largely overlapped with dCTCF binding sites and interacts with dCTCF. Binding of dCTCF to targets requires CP190 in many cases, whereas others are independent of CP190. Analysis of the bithorax complex revealed that six of the borders between the parasegment specific regulatory domains are bound by dCTCF and by CP190 in vivo. dCTCF null mutations affect expression of Abdominal-B, cause pharate lethality and a homeotic phenotype. A short pulse of dCTCF expression during larval development rescues the dCTCF loss of function phenotype. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of dCTCF in fly development and in the regulation of abdominal segmentation.
    The EMBO Journal 11/2007; 26(19):4203-14. · 9.82 Impact Factor
  • Current Biology 10/2007; 17(17):R757-9. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dosage compensation in Drosophila is dependent on MSL proteins and involves hypertranscription of the male X chromosome, which ensures equal X-linked gene expression in both sexes. Here, we report the purification of enzymatically active MSL complexes from Drosophila embryos, Schneider cells, and human HeLa cells. We find a stable association of the histone H4 lysine 16-specific acetyltransferase MOF with the RNA/protein containing MSL complex as well as with an evolutionary conserved complex. We show that the MSL complex interacts with several components of the nuclear pore, in particular Mtor/TPR and Nup153. Strikingly, knockdown of Mtor or Nup153 results in loss of the typical MSL X-chromosomal staining and dosage compensation in Drosophila male cells but not in female cells. These results reveal an unexpected physical and functional connection between nuclear pore components and chromatin regulation through MSL proteins, highlighting the role of nucleoporins in gene regulation in higher eukaryotes.
    Molecular Cell 04/2006; 21(6):811-23. · 15.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polytene interphase chromosomes are compacted into a series of bands and interbands reflecting their organization into independent chromosomal domains. In order to understand chromosomal organization, we set out to study the role of proteins that are selective for interbands. Here we describe the Drosophila melanogaster chromodomain protein Chriz that is coimmunoprecipitated with the zinc finger protein Z4. Both proteins colocalize exclusively to the interbands on Drosophila polytene chromosomes. Like Z4, Chriz is ubiquitously expressed throughout development and is associated with chromatin in all interphase nuclei. Following dissociation from chromatin, early in mitosis Chriz binds to the centrosomes and to the mitotic spindle. Newly induced amorphic Chriz alleles are early lethal, and ubiquitous overexpression of Chriz is lethal as well. Available Chriz hypomorphs which survive until pupal stage have a normal chromosomal phenotype. Reducing Z4 protein does not affect Chriz binding to polytene chromosomes and vice versa. Z4 is still chromosomally bound when Chriz protein is depleted by RNA interference.
    Chromosoma 06/2005; 114(1):54-66. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    Harald Eggert, Andrej Gortchakov, Harald Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: The subdivision of polytene chromosomes into bands and interbands suggests a structural chromatin organization that is related to the formation of functional domains of gene expression. We made use of the antibody Z4 to gain insight into this level of chromosomal structure, as the Z4 antibody mirrors this patterning by binding to an antigen that is present in most interbands. The Z4 gene encodes a protein with seven zinc fingers, it is essential for fly development and acts in a dose-dependent manner on the development of several tissues. Z4 mutants have a dose-sensitive effect on w(m4) position effect variegation with a haplo-suppressor and triplo-enhancer phenotype, suggesting Z4 to be involved in chromatin compaction. This assumption is further supported by the phenotype of Z4 mutant chromosomes, which show a loss of the band/interband pattern and are subject to an overall decompaction of chromosomal material. By co-immunoprecipitations we identified a novel chromo domain protein, which we named Chriz (Chromo domain protein interacting with Z4) as an interaction partner of Z4. Chriz localizes to interbands in a pattern that is identical to the Z4 pattern. These findings together with the result that Z4 binds directly to DNA in vitro strongly suggest that Z4 in conjunction with Chriz is intimately involved in the higher-order structuring of chromosomes.
    Journal of Cell Science 09/2004; 117(Pt 18):4253-64. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A new convenient vector, pMH, was designed for protein expression in Escherichia coli. The vector provides for effective inducible transcription of cloned sequences with T7 RNA polymerase and contains a polylinker harboring ten sites for the most common restriction enzymes, making it possible to clone a broad range of sequences. A region coding for the N-terminal (c-myc)3-(His)6 tag allows easy affinity purification of the recombinant protein and its detection with antibodies specific to the tag epitopes. The utility of pMH was demonstrated by successful expression of Drosophila melanogaster Chriz (CG10712) and its deletion derivatives in E. coli and purification of the recombinant proteins with a yield of about 10 mg per liter culture.
    Molecular Biology 06/2004; 38(4):600-602. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we describe the construction of a new vector, pMH, designed for protein expression in E. coli. The vector provides inducible and powerful T7 RNA polymerase driven transcription of the sequences introduced, and a polylinker comprising now 10 most widely used restriction sites, which allows virtually any sequence to be cloned. Cloning in-frame with the N-terminal (c-myc)3-(His)6-tag makes it possible, first, to easily affinity purify the proteins being expressed and, second, to detect the recombinant proteins with the antibodies specific for any of the tags when protein-specific antibodies are unavailable. General utility of pMH was demonstrated by successful expression in E. coli and further purification of Drosophila melanogaster Chriz (CG10712) product and of a number of its C-terminal truncations, with the approximate protein yeild constituting 10 mg/l culture.
    Molekuliarnaia biologiia 01/2004; 38(4):713-6.
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    ABSTRACT: Using gold labeled antibodies, we developed and tested an immunoelectron microscope (IEM) method for detection of protein localization in Drosophila melanogaster polytene chromosomes. This method is based on procedures widely used for indirect immunofluorescent (IF) staining of salivary gland polytene chromosome squashes. The application of IEM was evaluated by using specific antibodies against proteins earlier localized in both decondensed (interbands and puffs) and compact (bands) regions of polytene chromosomes. In all the experiments, IEM and IF images for homologous chromosome regions were compared. When applied to regions of loose structures, IEM enabled us to localize, with high precision, signals in fine bands, interbands and puffs. There was a good correspondence between immunogold EM and IF data. However, there was no correspondence for dense bands: gold particles were distributed at their boundaries, while the entire bands showed bright fluorescence. This discrepancy probably resulted from a poor penetration of antibodies conjugated to gold particles in the tightly packaged structures. From the results obtained it may by concluded that the IEM method is advantageous for studying the fine protein topography of loose decompacted regions of polytene chromosomes. And this must be taken into consideration when protein localization in polytene chromosomes is performed.
    Tsitologiia 02/2003; 45(3):235-43.
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    ABSTRACT: We used the UAS/GAL4 two component system to induce mRNA interference (mRNAi) during Drosophila development. In the adult eye the expression from white transgenes or the resident white locus is significantly repressed by the induction of UAS-wRNAi using different GAL4 expressing strains. By induced RNAi we demonstrate that the conserved nuclear protein Bx42 is essential for the development of many tissues. Phenotypically the effects of Bx42 RNAi resemble those obtained for certain classes of Notch mutants, pointing to an involvement of Bx42 in the Notch signal transduction pathway. The wing phenotype following overexpression of Suppressor of Hairless is strongly enhanced by simultaneous Bx42 RNAi induction in the same tissue. Target genes of Notch signaling like cut and Enhancer of split m8 were suppressed by induction of Bx42 RNAi. Our results demonstrate that inducible RNAi is a powerful tool to study the role of essential genes throughout development.
    Mechanisms of Development 10/2002; 117(1-2):151-62. · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • Chromosome Research 02/2002; 10(5):429-33. · 3.47 Impact Factor
  • U Lammel, H Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: To identify X chromosomal genes required for salivary gland development in the Drosophila embryo, we screened embryos hemizygous for EMS-induced lethal mutations to find mutations causing gross morphological defects in salivary gland development. The parental strain carried a lac Z transgene on the second chromosome, which was specifically expressed in the salivary glands so the mutations could be unambiguously identified. Embryos from 3,383 lines were tested for salivary gland abnormalities following lacZ staining. From 63 lines exhibiting aberrant salivary gland phenotypes, 52 stable lines were established containing mutations affecting salivary gland development. From these, 39 lines could be assigned to nine complementation groups: armadillo, brinker, folded gastrulation, giant, hindsight, Notch, runt, stardust and twisted gastrulation.
    Development Genes and Evolution 12/2000; 210(11):525-35. · 1.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: mod(mdg4), also known as E(var)3-93D, is involved in a variety of processes, such as gene silencing in position effect variegation (PEV), the control of gypsy insulator sequences, regulation of homeotic gene expression, and programmed cell death. We have isolated a large number of mod(mdg4) cDNAs, representing 21 different isoforms generated by alternative splicing. The deduced proteins are characterized by a common N terminus of 402 amino acids, including the BTB/POZ-domain. Most of the variable C termini contain a new consensus sequence, including four positioned hydrophobic amino acids and a Cys(2)His(2) motif. Using specific antibodies for two protein isoforms, we demonstrate different distributions of the corresponding proteins on polytene chromosomes. Mutations in the genomic region encoding exons 1-4 show enhancement of PEV and homeotic transformation and affect viability and fertility. Homeotic and PEV phenotypes are enhanced by mutations in other trx-group genes. A transgene containing the common 5' region of mod(mdg4) that is present in all splice variants known so far partially rescues the recessive lethality of mod(mdg4) mutant alleles. Our data provide evidence that the molecular and genetic complexity of mod(mdg4) is caused by a large set of individual protein isoforms with specific functions in regulating the chromatin structure of different sets of genes throughout development.
    Genetics 06/2000; 155(1):141-57. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    Uwe Lammel, Lisa Meadows, Harald Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: Salivary glands are simple structured organs which can serve as a model system in the study of organogenesis. Following a large EMS mutagenesis we have identified a number of genes required for normal salivary gland development. Mutations in the locus small salivary glands-1 (ssg-1) lead to a drastic reduction in the size of the salivary glands. The gene ssg-1 was cloned and subsequent sequence and genetic analysis showed identity to the recently published gene brinker. The salivary gland placode in brinker mutants appears reduced along both the anterior-posterior and dorso-ventral axis. Analysis of the brinker cuticle phenotype revealed a similar loss of anterior-posterior as well as lateral cell fates. The abdominal ventral denticle belts show a reduced number of setae in the first denticle row. Furthermore, we observed a preferential loss of lateral neuroblasts in the anterior parasegment. Together, these phenotypes suggest that brinker not only plays a role in dorso-ventral but also in anterior-posterior axis patterning.
    Mechanisms of Development 05/2000; 92(2):179-91. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hnRNP K protein is among the major hnRNA-binding proteins with a strong preference for cytidine-rich sequences. We have cloned a Drosophila hnRNP protein closely related to this vertebrate protein. The protein first identified by the monoclonal antibody Q18 is encoded by a gene located in 57A on polytene chromosomes and has been consequently named Hrb57A. The amino acid sequence of the Hrb57A KH domains and their overall organisation in the protein are remarkably similar to the vertebrate proteins. As the hnRNP K in vertebrates the M(r) 55 000 Drosophila Hrb57A/Q18 protein strongly binds to poly(C) in vitro and is ubiquitously present in nuclei active in transcription. On polytene chromosomes it is found in many puffs and minipuffs. Hrb57A/Q18 specifically coprecipitates four other proteins: Hrb87F/P11 a Drosophila hnRNP A1 homologue, the hnRNA-binding protein S5, the RNA recognition motif-containing protein NonA and the RNA-binding zinc finger-containing protein on ecdysone puffs PEP/X4.
    Gene 04/2000; 245(1):127-37. · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • I Reim, J Mattow, H Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: The RRM protein NonA, an ubiquitous nuclear protein present in puffs on polytene chromosomes, has been immunopurified as a RNA-protein complex from Drosophila Kc cells. Three other proteins present in the complex have been identified: X4/PEP (protein on ecdysone puffs), a 100-kDa zinc finger RNA-binding protein; the 70-kDa S5 protein, an as yet uncharacterized RNA-binding protein; and P11/Hrb87F, a 38-kDa RRM protein homologous to hnRNP protein A1 from mammals. Monoclonal antibodies against any of the protein components coprecipitate all four proteins although at different ratios. NonA does not coprecipitate with the hrp40 hnRNP proteins and immunolocalizes in a pattern distinct of major hnRNP proteins. Like NonA, X4/PEP, S5, and P11/Hrb87F are present on active sites on polytene chromosomes. The precipitated NonA complex is enriched for certain protein encoding RNAs, notably, histone H3 and H4 RNA.
    Experimental Cell Research 01/2000; 253(2):573-86. · 3.56 Impact Factor
  • I Reim, R Stanewsky, H Saumweber
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    ABSTRACT: The chromatin protein NonA from Drosophila, present in many puffs on polytene chromosomes, belongs to the growing class of RRM proteins. Exchange of amino acids within the RNP1 and RNP2 consensus sequences, known from other RRM proteins to be essential for RNA binding, has been shown drastically to reduce NonA function in vivo. Here we compare NonA binding to RNA from the Sgs-4 gene, an in situ target for NonA, with binding to Sgs-3 RNA, which is not a target of NonA. Using an immunoprecipitation assay in vitro we show that NonA binds to single-stranded (ss)DNA and RNA with moderate affinity (KD=8x10(-8) M). However, we did not observe sequence-specific binding to the Sgs-4 transcript nor to Sgs-4 DNA containing upstream regulatory sequences. Point mutations within the RNP1 and RNP2 consensus sequences that interfere with NonA function in vivo do not significantly change chromosomal binding nor the general affinity for RNA. The expression of Sgs-4 RNA relative to the expression of Sgs-3 RNA remains the same in the presence or absence of NonA protein. com/link/service/journals/00412/bibs/108n3p162.html
    Chromosoma 08/1999; 108(3):162-72. · 3.34 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
341.10 Total Impact Points


  • 1997–2011
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
      • Department of Biology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 2000
    • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      • Fakultät für Chemie und Biochemie
      Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1996
    • University of Florida
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 1993–1994
    • Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg
      • Institutsbereich für Genetik
      Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
  • 1990–1993
    • University of Cologne
      • Institute for Developmental Biology
      Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 1988–1989
    • Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1980
    • Universität Heidelberg
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany