Localization and organization of protein factors involved in chromosome inheritance in Dictyostelium discoideum

Biol Chem. 2007 Apr;388(4):355-65. doi: 10.1515/BC.2007.047.


Heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) proteins are highly conserved heterochromatin components required for genomic integrity. We have previously shown that the two HP1 isoforms expressed in Dictyostelium, HcpA and HcpB, are mainly localized to (peri-)centromeric heterochromatin and have largely overlapping functions. However, they cause distinct phenotypes when overexpressed. We show here that these isoforms display quantitative differences in dimerization behavior. Dimerization preference, as well as the mutant phenotype in overexpression strains, depends on the C-terminus containing the hinge and chromo shadow domains. Both Hcp proteins are targeted to distinct subnuclear regions by different chromo shadow domain-dependent and -independent mechanisms. In addition, both proteins bind to DNA and RNA in vitro and binding is independent of the chromo shadow domain. Thus, this DNA and/or RNA binding activity may contribute to protein targeting. To further characterize heterochromatin, we cloned the Dictyostelium homolog of the origin recognition complex subunit 2 (OrcB). OrcB localizes to distinct subnuclear foci that were also targeted by HcpA. In addition, it is associated with the centrosome throughout the cell cycle. The results indicate that, similar to Orc2 homologs from other organisms, it is required for different processes in chromosome inheritance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Centromere / chemistry
  • Centrosome / chemistry
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / biosynthesis*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / chemistry
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Dictyostelium / genetics*
  • Dimerization
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Origin Recognition Complex / genetics*
  • Protozoan Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Retroelements / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Origin Recognition Complex
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Retroelements
  • heterochromatin-specific nonhistone chromosomal protein HP-1