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Intergenic Transcription, Cell-Cycle and the Developmentally Regulated Epigenetic Profile of the Human Beta-Globin Locus

posted on 2007-07-18, 00:32 authored by Joanne Miles, Jennifer A. Mitchell, Lyubomira Chakalova, Beatriz Goyenechea, Cameron S. Osborne, Laura O'Neill, Keiji Tanimoto, James Douglas Engel, Peter Fraser

Several lines of evidence have established strong links between transcriptional activity and specific post-translation modifications of histones. Here we show using RNA FISH that in erythroid cells, intergenic transcription in the human β-globin locus occurs over a region of greater than 250 kb including several genes in the nearby olfactory receptor gene cluster. This entire region is transcribed during S phase of the cell cycle. However, within this region there are ∼20 kb sub-domains of high intergenic transcription that occurs outside of S phase. These sub-domains are developmentally regulated and enriched with high levels of active modifications primarily to histone H3. The sub-domains correspond to the β-globin locus control region, which is active at all developmental stages in erythroid cells, and the region flanking the developmentally regulated, active globin genes. These results correlate high levels of non-S phase intergenic transcription with domain-wide active histone modifications to histone H3.


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