The M31 gene has a complex developmentally regulated expression profile and may encode alternative protein products that possess diverse subcellular localisation patterns

J Exp Zool. 1998 Mar 1;280(4):288-303. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-010x(19980301)280:4<288::aid-jez3>;2-k.


HP1-like chromobox genes comprise an evolutionarily conserved family of genes that encode components of centromeric heterochromatin. In order to investigate the role of the murine HP1-like gene, M31, in heterochromatin formation we have isolated its gene and characterised its transcripts and protein products. PCR products that represent M31 transcripts were detected at the one-cell stage and were maternal in origin. Maternal provision of M31 transcripts may reflect a need for M31 in the formation of a functional centromere in order that there is proper segregation of chromosomes during the early cleavage divisions; studies in fission yeast and Drosophila have suggested a crucial role for HP1-like genes in centromere function. There are three protein products encoded by the M31 gene. Surprisingly, the two smaller products are found almost exclusively in the cytoplasm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Blastocyst
  • Centromere
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoplasm / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics*
  • Genes / genetics
  • Heterochromatin / genetics*
  • Introns / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Testis
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cbx1 protein, mouse
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Heterochromatin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X95397
  • GENBANK/X95398
  • GENBANK/X95399
  • GENBANK/X95400