Department of Cell Biology
Cell Division; Coiled Bodies; Gene Expression; Hela Cells; Histones; Humans; In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence; RNA, Messenger; RNA, Small Nuclear; Variation (Genetics)
Cell Biology | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Interactions between Cajal bodies (CBs) and replication-dependent histone loci occur more frequently than for other mRNA-encoding genes, but such interactions are not seen with all alleles at a given time. Because CBs contain factors required for transcriptional regulation and 3' end processing of nonpolyadenylated replication-dependent histone transcripts, we investigated whether interaction with CBs is related to metabolism of these transcripts, known to vary during the cell cycle. Our experiments revealed that a locus containing a cell cycle-independent, replacement histone gene that produces polyadenylated transcripts does not preferentially associate with CBs. Furthermore, modest but significant changes in association levels of CBs with replication-dependent histone loci mimic their cell cycle modulations in transcription and 3' end processing rates. By simultaneously visualizing replication-dependent histone genes and their nuclear transcripts for the first time, we surprisingly find that the vast majority of loci producing detectable RNA foci do not contact CBs. These studies suggest some link between CB association and unusual features of replication-dependent histone gene expression. However, sustained CB contact is not a requirement for their expression, consistent with our observations of U7 snRNP distributions. The modest correlation to gene expression instead may reflect transient gene signaling or the nucleation of small CBs at gene loci.
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Citation: Mol Biol Cell. 2001 Mar;12(3):565-76. Link to article on publisher's website