Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Genes on different chromosomes can be spatially associated in the nucleus in several transcriptional and regulatory situations; however, the functional significance of such associations remains unclear. Using human erythropoiesis as a model, we show that five cotranscribed genes, which are found on four different chromosomes, associate with each other at significant but variable frequencies. Those genes most frequently in association lie in decondensed stretches of chromatin. By replacing the mouse alpha-globin gene cluster in situ with its human counterpart, we demonstrate a direct effect of the regional chromatin environment on the frequency of association, whereas nascent transcription from the human alpha-globin gene appears unaffected. We see no evidence that cotranscribed erythroid genes associate at shared transcription foci, but we do see stochastic clustering of active genes around common nuclear SC35-enriched speckles (hence the apparent nonrandom association between genes). Thus, association between active genes may result from their location on decondensed chromatin that enables clustering around common nuclear speckles.

Original publication

DOI

10.1083/jcb.200803174

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Cell Biol

Publication Date

22/09/2008

Volume

182

Pages

1083 - 1097

Keywords

Animals, Anion Exchange Protein 1, Erythrocyte, Blood Cells, Cell Nucleus, Chromatin, Chromosomes, Erythropoiesis, Gene Expression Regulation, Globins, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies, Mice, Multigene Family, Transcription, Genetic