Muscling in on chromosomal clusters

Genes expressed in worm muscle are found in clusters throughout the genome.

Jonathan Weitzman(

It is becoming increasing apparent that eukaryotic genomes are organized into regions containing clusters of co-regulated genes. In the August 29 Nature, Peter Roy and colleagues describe clusters of muscle-expressing genes in the Caenorhabditiselegans genome (Nature 2002, 418:975-979).

Roy et al. developed a method called 'messenger RNA tagging' that uses immunoprecipitation of an epitope-tagged RNA-binding protein to purify mRNA expressed in different tissues; they then used DNA microarrays to analyze the enrichment of co-immunoprecipitated mRNAs. Roy et al. found over 1,000 genes that were consistently enriched in six muscle mRNA-tagging experiments. When they mapped the chromosomal locations of these genes, they found that almost a third of them are positioned within 10kb of another muscle-expressed gene. Many of the muscle genes are found in clusters of 2-5 genes, sometimes interrupted by a non-expressed gene. Additional analysis provided evidence for clustering of genes expressed in sperm...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?