To study the influence of clustered highly repetitive DNA sequences on the expression of adjacent genes, LTK- cells were cotransfected with the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (tk) gene and mouse satellite DNA. TK+ transformants containing a few copies of the tk genes flanked by satellite DNA were isolated. In situ hybridization on the metaphase chromosomes indicated that in each cell line the TK sequences resided at a single chromosomal site and that integration occurred preferentially into regions of the cellular DNA rich in highly repetitive sequences. The prominent feature of these cell lines was their phenotypic instability. Suppression and reexpression of the tk gene occurred at high frequency (greater than 3%) and did not correlate with any significant change in the organization of foreign DNA or with the presence of selective agents. These results indicate that satellite DNA, the major component of constitutive heterochromatin, may influence the expression of adjacent genes by affecting the chromatin structure.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular and Cellular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology