Scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) are essential for structural organization of the chromatin within the nucleus and serve as anchors of chromatin loop domains. A significant fraction of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana contains intragenic S/MAR elements and a significant correlation of S/MAR presence and overall expression strength has been demonstrated. In this study, we undertook a genome scale analysis of expression level and spatiotemporal expression differences in correlation with the presence or absence of genic S/MAR elements. We demonstrate that genes containing intragenic S/MARs are prone to pronounced spatiotemporal expression regulation. This characteristic is found to be even more pronounced for transcription factor genes. Our observations illustrate the importance of S/MARs in transcriptional regulation and the role of chromatin structural characteristics for gene regulation. Our findings open new perspectives for the understanding of tissue- and organ-specific regulation of gene expression.
Scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) are AT-rich DNA sequences that mediate structural organization of the chromatin within the nucleus. These elements constitute anchor points of the DNA for the chromatin scaffold and serve to organize the chromatin into structural domains. Studies on individual genes led to the conclusion that the dynamic and complex organization of the chromatin mediated by S/MAR elements plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression. In addition to intergenic S/MARs, which likely exert import insulator effects, more than 2,000 intragenic S/MARs have been shown to be present within the Arabidopsis genome. In this study, the authors set out to analyze the effects of these intragenic S/MAR elements on the regulation of the genes affected. Making use of exhaustive and multidimensional expression datasets available for Arabidopsis, the authors analyzed overall expression differences and correlation of intragenic S/MARs with spatiotemporal expression of genes. On a genome scale, pronounced tissue- and organ-specific and developmental expression patterns of S/MAR-containing genes have been detected. Notably, transcription factor genes contain a significant higher portion of S/MARs. The pronounced difference in expression characteristics of S/MAR-containing genes emphasizes their functional importance and the importance of structural chromosomal characteristics for gene regulation in plants as well as within other eukaryotes.
We have identified a MAR/SAR recognition signature (MRS) which is common to a large group of matrix and scaffold attachment regions. The MRS is composed of two degenerate sequences (AATAAYAA and AWWRTAANNWWGNNNC) within close proximity. Analysis of >300 kb of genomic sequence from a variety of eukaryotic organisms shows that the MRS faithfully predicts 80% of MARs and SARs. In each case where we find a MRS, the corresponding DNA region binds specifically to the nuclear scaffold. Although all MRSs are associated with a SAR, not all known SARs and MARs contain a MRS, suggesting that at least two classes exist, one containing a MRS, the other not. Evidence is presented that the two sequence elements of the bipartite MRS occupy a position on the nucleosome near the dyad axis, together creating a putative protein binding site. The identification of a MAR- and SAR-associated DNA element is an important step forward towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of these elements. It will allow: (i) analysis of the genomic location of SARs, e.g. in relationship to genes, based on sequence information alone, rather than on the basis of an elaborate biochemical assay; (ii) identification and analysis of proteins that specifically bind to the MRS.
The potentiation and subsequent initiation of transcription are complex biological phenomena. The region of attachment of the chromatin fiber to the nuclear matrix, known as the matrix attachment region or scaffold attachment region (MAR or SAR), are thought to be requisite for the transcriptional regulation of the eukaryotic genome. As expressed sequences should be contained in these regions, it becomes significant to answer the following question: can these regions be identified from the primary sequence data alone and subsequently used as markers for expressed sequences? This paper represents an effort toward achieving this goal and describes a mathematical model for the detection of MARs. The location of matrix associated regions has been linked to a variety of sequence patterns. Consequently, a list of these patterns is compiled and represented as a set of decision rules using an AND-OR formulation. The DNA sequence was then searched for the presence of these patterns and a statistical significance was associated with the frequency of occurrence of the various patterns. Subsequently, a mathematical potential value,MAR-Potential, was assigned to a sequence region as the inverse proportion to the probability that the observed pattern population occurred at random. Such a MAR detection process was applied to the analysis of a variety of known MAR containing sequences. Regions of matrix association predicted by the software essentially correspond to those determined experimentally. The human T-cell receptor and the DNA sequence from the Drosophila bithorax region were also analyzed. This demonstrates the usefulness of the approach described as a means to direct experimental resources.
S/MARs are regions of the DNA that are attached to the nuclear matrix. These regions are known to affect substantially the expression of genes. The computer prediction of S/MARs is a highly significant task which could contribute to our understanding of chromatin organisation in eukaryotic cells, the number and distribution of boundary elements, and the understanding of gene regulation in eukaryotic cells. However, while a number of S/MAR predictors have been proposed, their accuracy has so far not come under scrutiny.
We have selected S/MARs with sufficient experimental evidence and used these to evaluate existing methods of S/MAR prediction. Our main results are: 1.) all existing methods have little predictive power, 2.) a simple rule based on AT-percentage is generally competitive with other methods, 3.) in practice, the different methods will usually identify different sub-sequences as S/MARs, 4.) more research on the H-Rule would be valuable.
A new insight is needed to design a method which will predict S/MARs well. Our data, including the control data, has been deposited as additional material and this may help later researchers test new predictors.
Nuclear DNA of metazoans is organized in supercoiled loops anchored to a proteinaceous substructure known as the nuclear matrix (NM). DNA is anchored to the NM by non-coding sequences known as matrix attachment regions (MARs). There are no consensus sequences for identification of MARs and not all potential MARs are actually bound to the NM constituting loop attachment regions (LARs). Fundamental processes of nuclear physiology occur at macromolecular complexes organized on the NM; thus, the topological organization of DNA loops must be important. Here, we describe a general method for determining the structural DNA loop organization in any large genomic region with a known sequence. The method exploits the topological properties of loop DNA attached to the NM and elementary topological principles such as that points in a deformable string (DNA) can be positionally mapped relative to a position-reference invariant (NM), and from such mapping, the configuration of the string in third dimension can be deduced. Therefore, it is possible to determine the specific DNA loop configuration without previous characterization of the LARs involved. We determined in hepatocytes and B-lymphocytes of the rat the DNA loop organization of a genomic region that contains four members of the albumin gene family.
DNA topology; loop attachment regions; matrix attachment regions; nuclear matrix; nucleotype
Matrix attachment regions (MARs) are important in chromatin organization and gene regulation. Although it is known that there are a number of MAR elements in the β-globin gene cluster, it is unclear that how these MAR elements are involved in regulating β-globin genes expression. Here, we report the identification of a new MAR element at the LCR(locus control region) of human β-globin gene cluster and the detection of the inter-MAR association within the β-globin gene cluster. Also, we demonstrate that SATB1, a protein factor that has been implicated in the formation of network like higher order chromatin structures at some gene loci, takes part in β-globin specific inter-MAR association through binding the specific MARs. Knocking down of SATB1 obviously reduces the binding of SATB1 to the MARs and diminishes the frequency of the inter-MAR association. As a result, the ACH establishment and the α-like globin genes and β-like globin genes expressions are affected either. In summary, our results suggest that SATB1 is a regulatory factor of hemoglobin genes, especially the early differentiation genes at least through affecting the higher order chromatin structure.
In order to gain insights into the relationship between spatial organization of the genome and genome function we have initiated studies of the co-linear Sh2/A1- homologous regions of rice (30 kb) and sorghum (50 kb). We have identified the locations of matrix attachment regions (MARs) in these homologous chromosome segments, which could serve as anchors for individual structural units or loops. Despite the fact that the nucleotide sequences serving as MARs were not detectably conserved, the general organizational patterns of MARs relative to the neighboring genes were preserved. All identified genes were placed in individual loops that were of comparable size for homologous genes. Hence, gene composition, gene orientation, gene order and the placement of genes into structural units has been evolutionarily conserved in this region. Our analysis demonstrated that the occurrence of various 'MAR motifs' is not indicative of MAR location. However, most of the MARs discovered in the two genomic regions were found to co-localize with miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs), suggesting that MITEs preferentially insert near MARs and/or that they can serve as MARs.
The ordered packaging of DNA within the nucleus of somatic cells reflects a dynamic supportive structure that facilitates stable transcription interrupted by intermittent cycles of extreme condensation. This dynamic mode of packing and unpacking chromatin is intimately linked to the ability of the genome to specifically complex with both histones and non-histone proteins. Understanding the underlying mechanism that governs the formation of higher order chromatin structures is a key to understanding how local architecture modulates transcription. In part, the formation of these structures appears to be regulated through genomic looping that is dynamically mediated by attachment to the nuclear scaffold/matrix at S/MARs, i.e., Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions. Although the mechanism guiding the formation and use of these higher-ordered structures remains unknown, S/MARs continue to reveal a multitude of roles in development and the pathogenesis of disease.
S/MAR attachment; Nuclear Matrix; disease; scaffold; model; gene regulation; LIS; NaCl
Matrix attachment regions (MAR) are the sites on genomic DNA that interact with the nuclear matrix. There is increasing evidence for the involvement of MAR in regulation of gene expression. The unsuitability of experimental detection of MAR for genome-wide analyses has led to the development of computational methods of detecting MAR. The MAR recognition signature (MRS) has been reported to be associated with a significant fraction of MAR in C. elegans and has also been found in MAR from a wide range of other eukaryotes. However the effectiveness of the MRS in specifically and sensitively identifying MAR remains unresolved.
Using custom software, we have mapped the occurrence of MRS across the entire C. elegans genome. We find that MRS have a distinctive chromosomal distribution, in which they appear more frequently in the gene-rich chromosome centres than in arms. Comparison to distributions of MRS estimated from chromosomal sequences randomised using mono-, di- tri- and tetra-nucleotide frequency patterns showed that, while MRS are less common in real sequence than would be expected from nucleotide content alone, they are more frequent than would be predicted from short-range nucleotide structure. In comparison to the rest of the genome, MRS frequency was elevated in 5' and 3' UTRs, and striking peaks of average MRS frequency flanked C. elegans coding sequence (CDS). Genes associated with MRS were significantly enriched for receptor activity annotations, but not for expression level or other features.
Through a genome-wide analysis of the distribution of MRS in C. elegans we have shown that they have a distinctive distribution, particularly in relation to genes. Due to their association with untranslated regions, it is possible that MRS could have a post-transcriptional role in the control of gene expression. A role for MRS in nuclear scaffold attachment is not supported by these analyses.
Genomic DNA in higher eucaryotic cells is organized into a series of loops, each of which may be affixed at its base to the nuclear matrix via a specific matrix attachment region (MAR). In this report, we describe the distribution of MARs within the amplified dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) domain (amplicon) in the methotrexate-resistant CHO cell line CHOC 400. In one experimental protocol, matrix-attached and loop DNA fractions were prepared from matrix-halo structures by restriction digestion and were analyzed for the distribution of amplicon sequences between the two fractions. A second, in vitro method involved the specific binding to the matrix of cloned DNA fragments from the amplicon. Both methods of analysis detected a MAR in the replication initiation locus that we have previously defined in the DHFR amplicon, as well as in the 5'-flanking region of the DHFR gene. The first of these methods also suggests the presence of a MAR in a region mapping approximately 120 kilobases upstream from the DHFR gene. Each of these MARs was detected regardless of whether the matrix-halo structures were prepared by the high-salt or the lithium 3,5-diiodosalicylate extraction protocols, arguing against their artifactual association with the proteinaceous scaffolding of the nucleus during isolation procedures. However, the in vitro binding assay did not detect the MAR located 120 kilobases upstream from the DHFR gene but did detect specific matrix attachment of a sequence near the junction between amplicons. The results of these experiments suggest that (i) MARs can occur next to different functional elements in the genome, with the result that a DNA loop formed between two MARs can be smaller than a replicon; and (ii) different methods of analysis detect a somewhat different spectrum of matrix-attached DNA fragments.
Chromatin in eukaryotic nuclei is thought to be partitioned into functional loop domains that are generated by the binding of defined DNA sequences, named MARs (matrix attachment regions), to the nuclear matrix. We have previously identified B-type lamins as MAR-binding matrix components (M. E. E. Ludérus, A. de Graaf, E. Mattia, J. L. den Blaauwen, M. A. Grande, L. de Jong, and R. van Driel, Cell 70:949-959, 1992). Here we show that A-type lamins and the structurally related proteins desmin and NuMA also specifically bind MARs in vitro. We studied the interaction between MARs and lamin polymers in molecular detail and found that the interaction is saturable, of high affinity, and evolutionarily conserved. Competition studies revealed the existence of two different types of interaction related to different structural features of MARs: one involving the minor groove of double-stranded MAR DNA and one involving single-stranded regions. We obtained similar results for the interaction of MARs with intact nuclear matrices from rat liver. A model in which the interaction of nuclear matrix proteins with single-stranded MAR regions serves to stabilize the transcriptionally active state of chromatin is discussed.
Eukaryotic DNA is organized into chromatin domains that regulate gene expression and chromosome behavior. Insulators and/or scaffold-matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) mark the boundaries of these chromatin domains where they delimit enhancing and silencing effects from the outside. By recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE), we were able to compare these two types of bordering elements at a number of predefined genomic loci. Flanking an expression vector with either S/MARs or two copies of the non-S/MAR chicken hypersensitive site 4 insulator demonstrates that while these borders confer related expression characteristics at most loci, their effect on chromatin organization is clearly distinct. Our results suggest that the activity of bordering elements is most pronounced for the abundant class of loci with a low but negligible expression potential in the case of highly expressed sites. By the RMCE procedure, we demonstrate that expression parameters are not due to a potential targeting action of bordering elements, in the sense that a linked transgene is directed into a special class of loci. Instead, we can relate the observed transcriptional augmentation phenomena to their function as genomic insulators.
It is well established that nuclear architecture plays a key role in poising regions of the genome for transcription. This may be achieved using scaffold/matrix attachment regions (S/MARs) that establish loop domains. However, the relationship between changes in the physical structure of the genome as mediated by attachment to the nuclear scaffold/matrix and gene expression is not clearly understood. To define the role of S/MARs in organizing our genome and to resolve the often contradictory loci-specific studies, we have surveyed the S/MARs in HeLa S3 cells on human chromosomes 14–18 by array comparative genomic hybridization. Comparison of LIS (lithium 3,5-diiodosalicylate) extraction to identify SARs and 2 m NaCl extraction to identify MARs revealed that approximately one-half of the sites were in common. The results presented in this study suggest that SARs 5′ of a gene are associated with transcript presence whereas MARs contained within a gene are associated with silenced genes. The varied functions of the S/MARs as revealed by the different extraction methods highlights their unique functional contribution.
The higher order chromatin structure has recently been revealed as a critical new layer of gene transcriptional control. Changes in higher order chromatin structures were shown to correlate with the availability of transcriptional factors and/or MAR (matrix attachment region) binding proteins, which tether genomic DNA to the nuclear matrix. How posttranslational modification to these protein organizers may affect higher order chromatin structure still pending experimental investigation. The type III histone deacetylase silent mating type information regulator 2, S. cerevisiae, homolog 1 (SIRT1) participates in many physiological processes through targeting both histone and transcriptional factors. We show that MAR binding protein SATB1, which mediates chromatin looping in cytokine, MHC-I and β-globin gene loci, as a new type of SIRT1 substrate. SIRT1 expression increased accompanying erythroid differentiation and the strengthening of β-globin cluster higher order chromatin structure, while knockdown of SIRT1 in erythroid k562 cells weakened the long-range interaction between two SATB1 binding sites in the β-globin locus, MARHS2 and MARε. We also show that SIRT1 activity significantly affects ε-globin gene expression in a SATB1-dependent manner and that knockdown of SIRT1 largely blocks ε-globin gene activation during erythroid differentiation. Our work proposes that SIRT1 orchestrates changes in higher order chromatin structure during erythropoiesis, and reveals the dynamic higher order chromatin structure regulation at posttranslational modification level.
The genome is thought to be divided into domains by DNA elements which mediate anchorage of chromosomal DNA to the nuclear matrix or chromosome scaffold. The positions of nuclear matrix anchorage regions (MARs) have been mapped within the 200 kb mouse immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region locus, thereby allowing an estimate of the size of DNA domains within a segment of the genome. MARs were identified in four regions, which appear to divide the locus into looped DNA domains of 30, 20, 30 and greater than 70 kb in length. These DNA domain sizes fall within the range of DNA loop sizes observed in histone-extracted nuclei and chromosomes. In two regions, large clusters of MARs were identified, and many of these MARs lie on DNA fragments that include repetitive DNA elements, perhaps indicating that repetitive DNA integrates into the genome close to MARs, or that some classes of repeats could themselves act as MARs.
Interphase chromatin is arranged into topologically separated domains comprising gene expression and replication units through genomic sequence elements, so-called MAR or SAR regions (for matrix- or scaffold-associating regions). S/MAR regions are located near the boundaries of actively transcribed genes and were shown to influence their activity. We show that scaffold attachment factor B (SAF-B), which specifically binds to S/MAR regions, interacts with RNA polymerase II (RNA pol II) and a subset of serine-/arginine-rich RNA processing factors (SR proteins). SAF-B localized to the nucleus in a speckled pattern that coincided with the distribution of the SR protein SC35. Furthermore, we show that overexpressed SAF-B induced an increase of the 10S splice product using an E1A reporter gene and repressed the activity of an S/MAR flanked CAT reporter gene construct in vivo . This indicates an association of SAF-B with SR proteins and components of the transcription machinery. Our results describe the coupling of a chromatin organizing S/MAR element with transcription and pre-mRNA processing components and we propose that SAF-B serves as a molecular base to assemble a 'transcriptosome complex' in the vicinity of actively transcribed genes.
Genomic imprinting at the Igf2/H19 locus originates from allele-specific DNA methylation, which modifies the affinity of some proteins for their target sequences. Here, we show that AT-rich DNA sequences located in the vicinity of previously characterized differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of the imprinted Igf2 gene are conserved between mouse and human. These sequences have all the characteristics of matrix attachment regions (MARs), which are known as versatile regulatory elements involved in chromatin structure and gene expression. Combining allele-specific nuclear matrix binding assays and real-time PCR quantification, we show that retention of two of these Igf2 MARs (MAR0 and MAR2) in the nuclear matrix fraction depends on the tissue and is specific to the paternal allele. Furthermore, on this allele, the Igf2 MAR2 is functionally linked to the neighboring DMR2 while, on the maternal allele, it is controlled by the imprinting-control region. Our work clearly demonstrates that genomic imprinting controls matrix attachment regions in the Igf2 gene.
DNA loop organization by nuclear scaffold/matrix attachment is a key regulator of gene expression that may provide a means to modulate phenotype. We have previously shown that attachment of genes to the NaCl-isolated nuclear matrix correlates with their silencing in HeLa cells. In contrast, expressed genes were associated with the lithium 3,5-diiodosalicylate (LIS)-isolated nuclear scaffold. To define their role in determining phenotype matrix attached regions (MARs) on human chromosomes 14–18 were identified as a function of expression in a primary cell line. The locations of MARs in aortic adventitial fibroblast (AoAF) cells were very stable (r = 0.909) and 96% of genes attached at MARs are silent (P < 0.001). Approximately one-third of the genes uniquely expressed in AoAF cells were associated with the HeLa cell nuclear matrix and silenced. Comparatively, 81% were associated with the AoAF cell nuclear scaffold (P < 0.001) and expressed. This suggests that nuclear scaffold/matrix association mediates a portion of cell type-specific gene expression thereby modulating phenotype. Interestingly, nuclear matrix attachment and thus silencing of specific genes that regulate proliferation and maintain the integrity of the HeLa cell genome suggests that transformation may at least in part be achieved through aberrant nuclear matrix attachment.
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.
Double minute chromosomes or double minutes (DMs) are cytogenetic hallmarks of extrachromosomal genomic amplification and play a critical role in tumorigenesis. Amplified copies of oncogenes in DMs have been associated with increased growth and survival of cancer cells but DNA sequences in DMs which are mostly non-coding remain to be characterized. Following sequencing and bioinformatics analyses, we have found 5 novel matrix attachment regions (MARs) in a 682 kb DM in the human ovarian cancer cell line, UACC-1598. By electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), we determined that all 5 MARs interact with the nuclear matrix in vitro. Furthermore, qPCR analysis revealed that these MARs associate with the nuclear matrix in vivo, indicating that they are functional. Transfection of MARs constructs into human embryonic kidney 293T cells showed significant enhancement of gene expression as measured by luciferase assay, suggesting that the identified MARS, particularly MARs 1 to 4, regulate their target genes in vivo and are potentially involved in DM-mediated oncogene activation.
Matrix-attachment regions (MARs) are DNA elements that are defined by their abilities to bind to isolated nuclear matrices in vitro. The DNA sequences of different matrix-binding elements vary widely. The locations of some MARs at the ends of chromatin loops suggest that they may represent boundaries of individual chromatin domains. As such, MARs may play important roles in regulating transcription and chromatin structure. As a first step towards assessing the roles of MARs in these processes, we assayed DNA sequences from the human serine protease inhibitor (serpin) gene cluster at 14q32.1 for matrix-binding activity in vitro. This approximately 150 kb region contains the cell-specific genes encoding alpha1-anti-trypsin (alpha1AT) and corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG), as well as an antitrypsin-related sequence termed ATR. A DNase I-hypersensitive site (DHS) map of the locus has recently been described. We report here that the alpha1AT-ATR-CBG region contains five distinct MARs. There is a strong matrix-binding element approximately 16 kb upstream of alpha1AT; three MARs are between ATR and CBG and one MAR is within the CBG gene itself. These MARs were matrix-associated in all cell types examined. DNA sequencing indicated that the serpin MARs contained predominantly repetitive DNA, although the types of DNA repeats differed among the MARs.
The eukaryotic genome is partitioned into chromatin domains containing coding and intergenic regions. Insulators have been suggested to play a role in establishing and maintaining chromatin domains. Here we describe the identification and characterization of two separable enhancer blocking elements located in the 5′ flanking region of the chicken α-globin domain, 11–16 kb upstream of the embryonic α-type π gene in a DNA fragment harboring a MAR (matrix attachment region) element and three DNase I hypersensitive sites (HSs). The most upstream enhancer blocking element co-localizes with the MAR element and an erythroid-specific HS. The second enhancer blocking element roughly co-localizes with a constitutive HS. The third erythroid-specific HS present within the DNA fragment studied harbors a silencing, but not an enhancer blocking, activity. The 11 zinc-finger CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), which plays an essential role in enhancer blocking activity in many previously characterized vertebrate insulators, is found to bind the two α-globin enhancer blocking elements. Detailed analysis has demonstrated that mutation of the CTCF binding site within the most upstream enhancer blocking element abolishes the enhancer blocking activity. The results are discussed with respect to special features of the tissue-specific α-globin gene domain located in a permanently open chromatin area.
We have purified to near homogeneity a novel nuclear protein from HeLa cells, that specifically binds to scaffold or matrix attachment region DNA elements (S/MAR DNA). The protein, designated SAF-B for scaffold attachment factor B, is an abundant component of chromatin, but not of the nuclear matrix and is expressed in all human tissues investigated. Antibodies against the purified protein were raised in rabbit and used to isolate the complete cDNA encoding SAF-B by immunoscreening. As predicted from the cDNA sequence, SAF-B contains 849 amino acids (96 696 Da), without significant homology to any known protein. SAF-B is rich in charged residues, leading to an aberrant migration on SDS gels, and has two putative bipartite nuclear localisation signals.
Special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 1 (SATB1) is a tissue-restricted genome organizer that provides a key link between DNA loop organization, chromatin modification/remodeling, and transcription factor association at matrix attachment regions (MARs). The SUMO E3 ligase PIAS1 enhances SUMO conjugation to SATB1 lysine-744, and this modification regulates caspase-6 mediated cleavage of SATB1 at promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML NBs). Since this regulated caspase cleavage occurs on only a subset of SATB1, and the products are relatively stable, proteolysis likely mediates cellular processes other than programmed cell death. However, the mechanism for the spatial and temporal regulation of SATB1 sumoylation and caspase cleavage is not known. Here we report that these processes are controlled by SATB1 phosphorylation; specifically, PIAS1 interaction with SATB1 is inhibited by phosphorylation. Mutagenesis studies identified interaction of the PIAS SAP (scaffold attachment factor-A/B/acinus/PIAS) motif with SATB1 N-terminal sequences. Notably, phosphorylation of SATB1 at threonine-188 regulates its interaction with PIAS1. Sequences near this phosphorylation site, LXXLL (residues 193 to 197), appear to be conserved among a subset of SUMO substrate proteins. Thus, this motif may be commonly involved in interaction with the PIAS SAP, and phosphorylation may similarly inhibit some of these substrates by preventing their interaction with the ligase.
Gardia spp. are flagellated protozoans that parasitize the small intestines of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The infectious cysts begin excysting in the acidic environment of the stomach and become trophozoites (the vegetative form). The trophozoites attach to the intestinal mucosa through the suction generated by a ventral disk and cause diarrhea and malabsorption by mechanisms that are not well understood. Giardia spp. have a number of unique features, including a predominantly anaerobic metabolism, complete dependence on salvage of exogenous nucleotides, a limited ability to synthesize and degrade carbohydrates and lipids, and two nuclei that are equal by all criteria that have been tested. The small size and unique sequence of G. lamblia rRNA molecules have led to the proposal that Giardia is the most primitive eukaryotic organism. Three Giardia spp. have been identified by light lamblia, G. muris, and G. agilis, but electron microscopy has allowed further species to be described within the G. lamblia group, some of which have been substantiated by differences in the rDNA. Animal models and human infections have led to the conclusion that intestinal infection is controlled primarily through the humoral immune system (T-cell dependent in the mouse model). A major immunogenic cysteine-rich surface antigen is able to vary in vitro and in vivo in the course of an infection and may provide a means of evading the host immune response or perhaps a means of adapting to different intestinal environments.