Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The widespread occurrence of intergenic transcription in eukaryotes is increasingly evident. Intergenic transcription in the beta-globin gene cluster has been described in murine and human cells, and models for a role in gene and chromatin activation have been proposed. In this study, we analyze intergenic transcription and the chromatin state throughout the human beta-globin gene cluster and find that the data are not consistent with such activation-linked models. Thus, intergenic transcript levels correlate with neither chromatin activation nor globin gene expression. Instead, we find that intergenic transcripts of the beta-globin gene cluster are specifically upregulated in Dicer-deficient cells. This is accompanied by a shift towards more activated chromatin as indicated by changes in histone tail modifications. Our results strongly implicate RNA interference (RNAi)-related mechanisms in regulating intergenic transcription in the human beta-globin gene cluster and further suggest that RNAi-dependent chromatin silencing in vertebrates is not restricted to the centromeres.

Original publication

DOI

10.1128/MCB.25.21.9724-9733.2005

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mol Cell Biol

Publication Date

11/2005

Volume

25

Pages

9724 - 9733

Keywords

Centromere, Chromatin, DNA, Intergenic, Globins, HeLa Cells, Histones, Humans, Multigene Family, RNA Interference, Ribonuclease III, Transcription, Genetic