Df31 Protein and snoRNAs Maintain Accessible Higher Order Structures of Chromatin
Conference Recording Mar 20, 2013
About the SpeakerAxel Imhof studied biology at the University of Regensburg and graduated at the University Regensburg in 1995 After a three years postdoctoral period at the Laboratory of Molecular Embryology (Head: Dr. Alan P. Wolffe) within the National Institutes of Health he became an independent group leader at the Adolf-Butenandt Institute of the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (LMU). Since 2005 he is a full professor for protein analytics at the LMU. His lab focuses on the characterization of chromatin bound proteins and the characterization of histone modifications using mass spectrometry.
AbstractPackaging of DNA into nucleosomes and the formation of higher order chromatin structures determine DNA accessibility and activity of genome domains. We identified a RNA-dependent mechanism maintaining the open chromatin structure within euchromatic regions in Drosophila cells. The mechanism of reversible chromatin opening, reconstituted in vitro, depends on the Drosophila decondensation factor 31 (Df31) that specifically binds to RNA and localizes to euchromatic regions. Df31 is capable to tether a heterogeneous pool of short, single-stranded RNAs to chromatin. This class of chromatin-associated RNA (caRNA) is stably linked to chromatin and is largely composed of snoRNAs, which are preferentially bound by Df31. We suggest that the Df31 mediated linkage of snoRNAs and chromatin, forms a RNA-chromatin network resulting in the establishment of open chromatin domains. Analysis of caRNAs in human cells reveals as well a strong enrichment of snoRNAs, implying a conserved role for these molecules in higher order structures of chromatin.