The JIL-1 tandem kinase mediates histone H3 phosphorylation and is required for maintenance of chromatin structure in Drosophila

Cell. 2001 May 18;105(4):433-43. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(01)00325-7.


To analyze the function of the chromosomal kinase JIL-1, we generated an allelic series of hypomorphic and null mutations. JIL-1 is an essential kinase for viability, and reduced levels of JIL-1 kinase activity lead to a global change in chromatin structure. In JIL-1 hypomorphs, euchromatic regions of polytene chromosomes are severely reduced and the chromosome arms condensed. This is correlated with decreased levels of histone H3 Ser10 phosphorylation. These levels can be restored by a JIL-1 transgene placing JIL-1 directly in the pathway mediating histone H3 phosphorylation. We propose a model where JIL-1 kinase activity is required for maintaining the structure of the more open chromatin regions that facilitate gene transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Larva / physiology
  • Male
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Sex Chromatin / enzymology*
  • Sex Chromosomes / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Transgenes / physiology


  • Histones
  • Insect Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases