Heterochromatin protein 1, a known suppressor of position-effect variegation, is highly conserved in Drosophila

Nucleic Acids Res. 1992 Nov 25;20(22):6067-74. doi: 10.1093/nar/20.22.6067.


The Su(var)205 gene of Drosophila melanogaster encodes heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), a protein located preferentially within beta-heterochromatin. Mutation of this gene has been associated with dominant suppression of position-effect variegation. We have cloned and sequenced the gene encoding HP1 from Drosophila virilis, a distantly related species. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequence with Drosophila melanogaster HP1 shows two regions of strong homology, one near the N-terminus (57/61 amino acids identical) and the other near the C-terminus (62/68 amino acids identical) of the protein. Little homology is seen in the 5' and 3' untranslated portions of the gene, as well as in the intronic sequences, although intron/exon boundaries are generally conserved. A comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of HP1-like proteins from other species shows that the cores of the N-terminal and C-terminal domains have been conserved from insects to mammals. The high degree of conservation suggests that these N- and C-terminal domains could interact with other macromolecules in the formation of the condensed structure of heterochromatin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Exons
  • Introns
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • heterochromatin-specific nonhistone chromosomal protein HP-1
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M88753