Regulated expression of the β-globin gene locus in synthetic nuclei

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51 Scopus citations


Regulated gene expression within a complex chromosomal locus requires multiple nuclear processes. We have analyzed the transcriptional properties of the cloned chick β-globin gene family when assembled into synthetic nuclei made by use of Xenopus egg extracts. Assembly in an erythroid protein environment correctly recapitulates tissue-specific chromatin structure and long-range promoter-enhancer interaction within the chromosomal locus, resulting in β-globin gene activation. Nucleosome-repressed β-globin templates can be transcriptionally activated by double-stranded DNA replication in the presence of staged erythroid proteins by remodeling of the chromatin structure within the promoter region and establishment of distal promoter-enhancer communication. The programmed transcriptional state of a gene, as encoded by its chromatin structure and long-range promoter-enhancer interactions, is stable to nuclear decondensation and DNA replication unless active remodeling occurs in the presence of specific DNA-binding proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2453-2465
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA replication
  • Xenopus
  • chromatin
  • enhancers
  • synthetic nuclei
  • transcription
  • β-Globin genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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