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Accession IconGSE25831

Fed L1 larvae total RNA levels by microarray

Organism Icon Caenorhabditis elegans
Sample Icon 6 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix C. elegans Genome Array (celegans)

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Here we exploit the essential process of Xchromosome dosage compensation to elucidate basic mechanisms that control the assembly, genomewide binding, and function of gene regulatory complexes that act over large chromosomal territories. We demonstrate that a subunit of C. elegans MLL/COMPASS, a gene-activation complex, acts within the dosage compensation complex (DCC), a condensin complex, to target the DCC to both X chromosomes of hermaphrodites and thereby reduce chromosome-wide gene expression. The DCC binds to two categories of sites on X: rex sites that recruit the DCC in an autonomous, sequence- dependent manner, and dox sites that reside primarily in promoters of expressed genes and bind the DCC robustly only when attached to X. We find that DCC mutants that abolish rex-site binding do not eliminate dox-site binding, but instead reduce it to the level observed at autosomal binding sites in wild-type animals. Changes in DCC binding to these non-rex sites occur throughout development and correlate with transcriptional activity of adjacent genes. Moreover, autosomal DCC binding is enhanced by rex-site binding in cis in X-autosome fusion chromosomes. Thus, dox and autosomal sites exhibit similar binding properties. Our data support a model for DCC binding in which low-level DCC binding at dox and autosomal sites is dictated by intrinsic properties correlated with high transcriptional activity. Sex-specific DCC recruitment to rex sites then greatly elevates DCC binding to dox sites in cis, which lack intrinsically high DCC affinity on their own. We also show here that the C. elegans DCC achieves dosage compensation through its effects on transcription.
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