Chromatin domains and prediction of MAR sequences

Int Rev Cytol. 1995;162A:279-388. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(08)61234-6.

Abstract

Polynuceosomes are constrained into loops or domains and are insulated from the effects of chromatin structure and torsional strain from flanking domains by the cross-complexation of matrix-attached regions (MARs) and matrix proteins. MARs or SARs have an average size of 500 bp, are spaced about every 30 kb, and are control elements maintaining independent realms of gene activity. A fraction of MARs may cohabit with core origin replication (ORIs) and another fraction might cohabit with transcriptional enhancers. DNA replication, transcription, repair, splicing, and recombination seem to take place on the nuclear matrix. Classical AT-rich MARs have been proposed to anchor the core enhancers and core origins complexed with low abundancy transcription factors to the nuclear matrix via the cooperative binding to MARs of abundant classical matrix proteins (topoisomerase II, histone H1, lamins, SP120, ARBP, SATB1); this creates a unique nuclear microenvironment rich in regulatory proteins able to sustain transcription, replication, repair, and recombination. Theoretical searches and experimental data strongly support a model of activation of MARs and ORIs by transcription factors. A set of 21 characteristics are deduced or proposed for MAR/ORI sequences including their enrichment in inverted repeats, AT tracts, DNA unwinding elements, replication initiator protein sites, homooligonucleotide repeats (i.e., AAA, TTT, CCC), curved DNA, DNase I-hypersensitive sites, nucleosome-free stretches, polypurine stretches, and motifs with a potential for left-handed and triplex structures. We are establishing Banks of ORI and MAR sequences and have undertaken a large project of sequencing a large number of MARs in an effort to determine classes of DNA sequences in these regulatory elements and to understand their role at the origins of replication and transcriptional enhancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromatin / chemistry*
  • DNA Replication
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Matrix / chemistry*
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary

Substances

  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Proteins