In order to create an extended map of chromatin features within a mammalian multigene locus, we have determined the extent of nuclease sensitivity and the pattern of histone modifications associated with the mouse β-globin genes in adult erythroid tissue. We show that the nuclease-sensitive domain encompasses the β-globin genes along with several flanking olfactory receptor genes that are inactive in erythroid cells. We describe enhancer-blocking or boundary elements on either side of the locus that are bound in vivo by the transcription factor CTCF, but we found that they do not coincide with transitions in nuclease sensitivity flanking the locus or with patterns of histone modifications within it. In addition, histone hyperacetylation and dimethylation of histone H3 K4 are not uniform features of the nuclease-sensitive mouse β-globin domain but rather define distinct subdomains within it. Our results reveal a complex chromatin landscape for the active β-globin locus and illustrate the complexity of broad structural changes that accompany gene activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology