A baffling protein

BAF, a cellular protein that prevents virus autointegration, may normally function in chromosome condensation.

By | July 31, 2000

Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF) is a cellular protein that prevents destructive insertions of retroviruses into their own genomes. In the August 1 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Zheng et al. propose that BAF's usual function may be in chromosome condensation (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2000, 97:8997-9002). BAF added to DNA forms primarily a dodecamer that binds five or six DNA molecules. The processes of DNA binding and formation of the higher-order BAF multimer are coupled. Interference with BAF function by RNAi in worm embryos results in abnormal chromosome segregation, with chromatin trailing between segregating chromosomes. Thus BAF may function in chromosome organization or condensation.

Popular Now

  1. Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts
  2. Grass Routes
    Features Grass Routes

    Researchers are discovering a suite of new locations and functions of endocannabinoid receptors that play roles in sickness and in health.

  3. Running on Empty
    Features Running on Empty

    Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

  4. Most of Human Genome Nonfunctional: Study
AAAS