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Transcription-dependent spatial arrangements of CFTR and conserved adjacent loci are not conserved in human and murine nuclei

Sadoni, Nicolas, Targosz, Bianca-Sabrina, Englmann, Andreas, Fesser, Stephanie, Koch, Jeannette, Schindelhauer, Dirk, Zink, Daniele
Chromosoma 2008 v.117 no.4 pp. 381-397
chromocenters, evolution, genes, humans, loci, mice, transcription (genetics)
The human genes CFTR, ASZ1/GASZ, and CTTNBP2/CORTBP2 map to adjacent loci on chromosome 7q31 and display characteristic patterns of nuclear positioning, which strictly correlate with the state of activity. To address the evolutionary conservation of gene positioning, we investigated transcriptional activity and nuclear positioning of the highly conserved murine orthologs and of additional murine genes mapping to the region of conserved synteny on mouse chromosome 6. The results showed that all murine loci investigated constitutively localized in the nuclear interior irrespective of their functional state. Silenced loci did not display preferential association with the nuclear periphery or with chromocenters, respectively, and no differential positioning with respect to the chromosome 6 territory could be observed. This positional behavior of the murine loci was in striking contrast to the positioning of the human orthologs, and the results show that the transcription-dependent positioning of CFTR and adjacent loci has not been conserved. The findings reveal that the nuclear organization of conserved chromosomal regions can change rapidly during evolution and is not always as highly conserved as other features of chromosome organization. Furthermore, the results suggest that the way how nuclear positioning contributes to the regulation of conserved loci can be different in different vertebrate species.