Ligand-dependent transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors is believed to be mediated by intermediary factors (TIFs) acting on remodelling of the chromatin structure and/or the activity of the transcriptional machinery. The putative transcriptional mediator TIF1alpha is a nuclear protein kinase that has been identified via its interaction with liganded nuclear receptors, including retinoic acid (RAR), retinoid X (RXR) and estrogen (ER) receptors. Here, we demonstrate that TIF1alpha is a non-histone chromosomal protein tightly associated with highly accessible euchromatic regions of the genome. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy reveals that TIF1alpha exhibits a finely granular distribution in euchromatin of interphase nuclei, while it is mostly excluded from condensed chromatin and metaphase chromosomes. Immunoelectron microscopy shows that, in contrast to the heterochromatin protein HP1alpha, most of TIF1alpha is associated with euchromatin, where it is preferentially localised on regions known to be sites for RNA polymerase II (perichromatin fibrils and borders between euchromatin and heterochromatin). Early mouse embryos as well as embryonal carcinoma (EC) and embryonic stem (ES) cells express high levels of TIF1alpha. These levels dramatically decrease during organogenesis and upon differentiation of P19 EC cells, indicating that TIF1alpha is preferentially expressed in undifferentiated pluripotent cells in the course of development. Therefore, TIF1alpha could belong to a novel class of chromatin-associated TIFs that facilitate the access of transregulators (e.g. liganded nuclear receptors) to their cognate sites in target genes, thereby participitating in the epigenetic control of transcription during embryonic development and cell differentiation.
The putative nuclear receptor mediator TIF1alpha is tightly associated with euchromatin
E. Remboutsika, Y. Lutz, A. Gansmuller, J.L. Vonesch, R. Losson, P. Chambon; The putative nuclear receptor mediator TIF1alpha is tightly associated with euchromatin. J Cell Sci 1 June 1999; 112 (11): 1671–1683. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.112.11.1671
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