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Title: Local chromatin structure of heterochromatin regulates repeated DNA stability, nucleolus structure, and genome integrity

Abstract

Heterochromatin constitutes a significant portion of the genome in higher eukaryotes; approximately 30% in Drosophila and human. Heterochromatin contains a high repeat DNA content and a low density of protein-encoding genes. In contrast, euchromatin is composed mostly of unique sequences and contains the majority of single-copy genes. Genetic and cytological studies demonstrated that heterochromatin exhibits regulatory roles in chromosome organization, centromere function and telomere protection. As an epigenetically regulated structure, heterochromatin formation is not defined by any DNA sequence consensus. Heterochromatin is characterized by its association with nucleosomes containing methylated-lysine 9 of histone H3 (H3K9me), heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) that binds H3K9me, and Su(var)3-9, which methylates H3K9 and binds HP1. Heterochromatin formation and functions are influenced by HP1, Su(var)3-9, and the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. My thesis project investigates how heterochromatin formation and function impact nuclear architecture, repeated DNA organization, and genome stability in Drosophila melanogaster. H3K9me-based chromatin reduces extrachromosomal DNA formation; most likely by restricting the access of repair machineries to repeated DNAs. Reducing extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA stabilizes rDNA repeats and the nucleolus structure. H3K9me-based chromatin also inhibits DNA damage in heterochromatin. Cells with compromised heterochromatin structure, due to Su(var)3-9 or dcr-2 (a component of the RNAi pathway) mutations,more » display severe DNA damage in heterochromatin compared to wild type. In these mutant cells, accumulated DNA damage leads to chromosomal defects such as translocations, defective DNA repair response, and activation of the G2-M DNA repair and mitotic checkpoints that ensure cellular and animal viability. My thesis research suggests that DNA replication, repair, and recombination mechanisms in heterochromatin differ from those in euchromatin. Remarkably, human euchromatin and fly heterochromatin share similar features; such as repeated DNA content, intron lengths and open reading frame sizes. Human cells likely stabilize their DNA content via mechanisms and factors similar to those in Drosophila heterochromatin. Furthermore, my thesis work raises implications for H3K9me and chromatin functions in complex-DNA genome stability, repeated DNA homogenization by molecular drive, and in genome reorganization through evolution.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Institutes of Health (NIH)
OSTI Identifier:
913167
Report Number(s):
LBNL-62693
R&D Project: L0042; TRN: US200802%%568
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231; NIHR01GM061169
Resource Type:
Thesis/Dissertation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; ANIMAL CELLS; CENTROMERES; CHROMATIN; CHROMOSOMES; DNA; DNA DAMAGES; DNA REPAIR; DNA REPLICATION; DROSOPHILA; GENES; GENETICS; HETEROCHROMATIN; NUCLEOSOMES; PROTEINS; STABILITY; TELOMERES

Citation Formats

Peng, Jamy C. Local chromatin structure of heterochromatin regulates repeated DNA stability, nucleolus structure, and genome integrity. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/913167.
Peng, Jamy C. Local chromatin structure of heterochromatin regulates repeated DNA stability, nucleolus structure, and genome integrity. United States. doi:10.2172/913167.
Peng, Jamy C. Mon . "Local chromatin structure of heterochromatin regulates repeated DNA stability, nucleolus structure, and genome integrity". United States. doi:10.2172/913167. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/913167.
@article{osti_913167,
title = {Local chromatin structure of heterochromatin regulates repeated DNA stability, nucleolus structure, and genome integrity},
author = {Peng, Jamy C.},
abstractNote = {Heterochromatin constitutes a significant portion of the genome in higher eukaryotes; approximately 30% in Drosophila and human. Heterochromatin contains a high repeat DNA content and a low density of protein-encoding genes. In contrast, euchromatin is composed mostly of unique sequences and contains the majority of single-copy genes. Genetic and cytological studies demonstrated that heterochromatin exhibits regulatory roles in chromosome organization, centromere function and telomere protection. As an epigenetically regulated structure, heterochromatin formation is not defined by any DNA sequence consensus. Heterochromatin is characterized by its association with nucleosomes containing methylated-lysine 9 of histone H3 (H3K9me), heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) that binds H3K9me, and Su(var)3-9, which methylates H3K9 and binds HP1. Heterochromatin formation and functions are influenced by HP1, Su(var)3-9, and the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. My thesis project investigates how heterochromatin formation and function impact nuclear architecture, repeated DNA organization, and genome stability in Drosophila melanogaster. H3K9me-based chromatin reduces extrachromosomal DNA formation; most likely by restricting the access of repair machineries to repeated DNAs. Reducing extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA stabilizes rDNA repeats and the nucleolus structure. H3K9me-based chromatin also inhibits DNA damage in heterochromatin. Cells with compromised heterochromatin structure, due to Su(var)3-9 or dcr-2 (a component of the RNAi pathway) mutations, display severe DNA damage in heterochromatin compared to wild type. In these mutant cells, accumulated DNA damage leads to chromosomal defects such as translocations, defective DNA repair response, and activation of the G2-M DNA repair and mitotic checkpoints that ensure cellular and animal viability. My thesis research suggests that DNA replication, repair, and recombination mechanisms in heterochromatin differ from those in euchromatin. Remarkably, human euchromatin and fly heterochromatin share similar features; such as repeated DNA content, intron lengths and open reading frame sizes. Human cells likely stabilize their DNA content via mechanisms and factors similar to those in Drosophila heterochromatin. Furthermore, my thesis work raises implications for H3K9me and chromatin functions in complex-DNA genome stability, repeated DNA homogenization by molecular drive, and in genome reorganization through evolution.},
doi = {10.2172/913167},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Thesis/Dissertation:
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