We have analyzed the organization of the homogeneously staining regions (HSRs) in chromosomes from a methotrexate-resistant mouse melanoma cell line. Fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques were used to localize satellite DNA sequences and the amplified copies of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene that confer drug-resistance, in combination with immunofluorescence using antibody probes to differentiate chromatin structure. We show that the major DNA species contained in the HSRs is mouse major satellite, confirming previous reports, and that this is interspersed with DHFR DNA in an alternating tandem array that can be resolved at the cytological level. Mouse minor satellite DNA, which is normally located at centromeres, is also distributed along the HSRs, but does not appear to interfere with centromere function. The blocks of major satellite DNA are coincident with chromatin domains that are labelled by an autoantibody that recognizes a mammalian homologue of Drosophila heterochromatin-associated protein 1, shown previously to be confined to centric heterochromatin in mouse. An antiserum that specifically recognizes acetylated histone H4, a marker for active chromatin, fails to bind to the satellite DNA domains, but labels the intervening segments containing DHFR DNA. We can find no evidence for the spreading of the inactive chromatin domains into adjacent active chromatin, even after extended passaging of cells in the absence of methotrexate selection.
Chromatin organization in the homogeneously staining regions of a methotrexate-resistant mouse cell line: interspersion of inactive and active chromatin domains distinguished by acetylation of histone H4
L. Nicol, P. Jeppesen; Chromatin organization in the homogeneously staining regions of a methotrexate-resistant mouse cell line: interspersion of inactive and active chromatin domains distinguished by acetylation of histone H4. J Cell Sci 1 September 1996; 109 (9): 2221–2228. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.109.9.2221
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