Analysis of the chromatin domain organisation around the plastocyanin gene reveals an MAR-specific sequence element in Arabidopsis thaliana

C. M. van Drunen, R. W. Oosterling, G. M. Keultjes, P. J. Weisbeek, R. van Driel, S. C. Smeekens

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The Arabidopsis thaliana genome is currently being sequenced, eventually leading towards the unravelling of all potential genes. We wanted to gain more insight into the way this genome might be organized at the ultrastructural level. To this extent we identified matrix attachment regions demarking potential chromatin domains, in a 16 kb region around the plastocyanin gene. The region was cloned and sequenced revealing six genes in addition to the plastocyanin gene. Using an heterologous in vitro nuclear matrix binding assay, to search for evolutionary conserved matrix attachment regions (MARs), we identified three such MARs. These three MARs divide the region into two small chromatin domains of 5 kb, each containing two genes. Comparison of the sequence of the three MARs revealed a degenerated 21 bp sequence that is shared between these MARs and that is not found elsewhere in the region. A similar sequence element is also present in four other MARs of Arabidopsis.Therefore, this sequence may constitute a landmark for the position of MARs in the genome of this plant. In a genomic sequence database of Arabidopsis the 21 bp element is found approximately once every 10 kb. The compactness of the Arabidopsis genome could account for the high incidence of MARs and MRSs we observed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3904-3911
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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