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Chromosome Research

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 215–227 | Cite as

C. elegans dosage compensation: A window into mechanisms of domain-scale gene regulation

  • Sevinc Ercan
  • Jason D. Lieb
Article

Abstract

The C. elegans dosage compensation complex (DCC) reduces transcript levels from each of the two hermaphrodite X chromosomes to equalize X-linked gene expression to that of XO males. Several of the proteins that comprise the DCC are homologous to subunits of the evolutionarily conserved condensin complexes, which in most organisms function in mitotic and meiotic chromosome condensation. These include the DCC subunits MIX-1 and DPY-27, which belong to the structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family of proteins. Several of the C. elegans DCC subunits also perform double duty as members of the canonical meiotic and mitotic condensin complexes. Here, we review what is known about the C. elegans DCC and how study of this model might shed light on general mechanisms of domain-scale transcriptional regulation. We discuss how condensin-like complexes may be targeted to specific chromosomal locations for performance of their functions.

Keywords

dosage compensation condensin transcription C. elegans domain-scale gene regulation 

Abbreviations

ChIP

chromatin immunoprecipitation

COMPASS

complex of proteins associated with Set1

DCC

dosage compensation complex

HEAT

Huntingtin, Elongation Factor 3, PR65/A, TOR

rex

recruitment element on X

SMC

structural maintenance of chromosomes

Notes

Acknowledgements

Sevinc Ercan is supported by National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award GM084471.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and Carolina Center for the Genome Sciences, CB #3280, 406 Fordham HallUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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