Characterization of Button Loci that Promote Homologous Chromosome Pairing and Cell-Type-Specific Interchromosomal Gene Regulation

Dev Cell. 2019 Nov 4;51(3):341-356.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.09.007. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Abstract

Homologous chromosomes colocalize to regulate gene expression in processes including genomic imprinting, X-inactivation, and transvection. In Drosophila, homologous chromosomes pair throughout development, promoting transvection. The "button" model of pairing proposes that specific regions along chromosomes pair with high affinity. Here, we identify buttons interspersed across the fly genome that pair with their homologous sequences, even when relocated to multiple positions in the genome. A majority of transgenes that span a full topologically associating domain (TAD) function as buttons, but not all buttons contain TADs. Additionally, buttons are enriched for insulator protein clusters. Fragments of buttons do not pair, suggesting that combinations of elements within a button are required for pairing. Pairing is necessary but not sufficient for transvection. Additionally, pairing and transvection are stronger in some cell types than in others, suggesting that pairing strength regulates transvection efficiency between cell types. Thus, buttons pair homologous chromosomes to facilitate cell-type-specific interchromosomal gene regulation.

Keywords: fly eye development; gene regulation; homologous chromosome pairing; nuclear architecture; transvection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromosome Pairing / genetics*
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Insulator Elements / genetics
  • Transgenes

Substances

  • Chromatin