Satellite DNA induces unstable expression of the adjacent herpes simplex virus tk gene cotransfected in mouse cells.

D. Talarico, A. F. Peverali, E. Ginelli, R. Meneveri, C. Mondello, G. Della Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1344
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Volume8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

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