The three-dimensional positioning of the X-chromosomal adenine nucleotide translocase genes, ANT2 and ANT3, were compared in the active and inactive X chromosome territories (Xa and Xi) of female human amniotic fluid cell nuclei. ANT2 is located in Xq24-q25 and is transcriptionally active on Xa, but inactive on Xi. ANT3 is located in the pseudoautosomal region Xp22.3 and escapes X-inactivation. Three-color fluorescence in situ hybridization, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and three-dimensional image analysis revealed that transcriptionally active ANT2 and ANT3 genes were positioned more peripheral within their chromosome territory than the inactive ANT2 gene. The position of the latter was significantly more interior in the Xi territory. Although the volumes of both X territories were similar, 3D distances between ANT2 and ANT3 were significantly smaller in Xi compared to Xa territories reflecting different territory shapes. Our data show a correlation between 3D positioning and transcriptional activity of these X-specific genes.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.