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An Analysis of Chromatin Structure and Gene Regulation

  • Robert J. Ferl
  • Anna-Lisa Paul
  • Mohammed Ashraf
  • Scott Bollinger
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 41)

Summary

We present here a compilation of our studies aimed at describing the architecture of the maize alcohol dehydrogenase genes (Adh). Specifically, we have sought a structural description of these genes at levels beyond primary sequence; i.e., the association of the DNA with nuclear proteins to form chromatin and the conformation of the DNA itself. The basic definition of chromatin is quite broad and refers to the nuclear DNA together with its associated histones and nonhistone chromosomal proteins in the complex structural array that packages and organizes the eukaryotic genome within the nucleus. What we hope to accomplish by elucidating the structural aspects of the Adh genes is an understanding of the mechanics involved in organizing these genes within the chromatin array, the structural changes involved in preparing the gene for transcriptional activation, and the identification of those sequences in the promoters of these genes that are responsible for regulating transcriptional activity.

We have chosen the maize Adh gene system for analysis for several reasons. First, both Adhl and Adh2 are genetically well-characterized genes that have been cloned and sequenced (5,6,18,37). Second, both genes are transcriptionally induced by anaerobic stress, providing a convenient laboratory mechanism for controlling the transcriptional state of the genes (14). Third, while similarly (though not identically) responsive to anaerobic stress, there is almost no sequence homology between the 5’ flanking regions of the genes (5,6). These two genes, therefore, provide an interesting system to search for similarities and contrasts in their chromatin structure and to elucidate the roles that chromatin structure might play in their coordinate regulation.

Keywords

Chromatin Structure Heat Shock Gene Hypersensitive Site Sensitive Site Anaerobic Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Ferl
    • 1
  • Anna-Lisa Paul
    • 1
  • Mohammed Ashraf
    • 1
  • Scott Bollinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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