Cell-cycle-specific transcription termination within the human histone H3.3 gene is correlated with specific protein-DNA interactions
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Genetical research. 1997 Apr; 69(2): 101-10.
In vitro studies using highly purified calf thymus RNA polymerase II and a fragment spanning the first intron of H3.3 as template DNA have demonstrated the existence of a strong transcription termination site consisting of thymidine stretches. In this study, nuclear run-on experiments have been performed to assess the extent to which transcription elongation is blocked in vivo using DNA probes corresponding to region 5' and 3' of the in vitro termination sites. These studies suggest that H3.3 expression is stimulated following the inhibition of DNA synthesis through the elimination of the transcription elongation block. Interestingly, both the in vivo and in vitro experiments have revealed that the transcriptional block/termination sites are positioned immediately downstream of a 73 bp region that has been over 90% conserved between the chicken and human H3.3 genes. The extreme conservation of this intronic region suggests a possible role in maintaining cis-acting function. Electrophoretic mobility shift experiments show that HeLa cell nuclear extracts contain protein factors that bind specifically to the region of transcription elongation block. Furthermore, we demonstrate a correlation between the protein binding activity and the transcriptional block in cells that have been either arrested at the initiation of S phase or were replication-interrupted by hydroxyurea. DNA footprinting experiments indicate that the region of protein binding is at the 3' end of the conserved region and overlaps with one of the three in-vitro-mapped termination sites.
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