In vivo ultraviolet and dimethyl sulfate footprinting of the 5' region of the expressed and silent Xist alleles.
Komura JI., Sheardown SA., Brockdorff N., Singer-Sam J., Riggs AD.
The Xist (X inactive specific transcript) gene plays an essential role in X chromosome inactivation. To elucidate the mechanisms controlling Xist expression and X inactivation, we examined in vivo DNA-protein interactions in the Xist promoter region in a female mouse cell line (BMSL2), which has distinguishable Xist alleles. In vivo footprinting was accomplished by treatment of cells with dimethyl sulfate or ultraviolet light, followed by ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction of purified DNA. The expressed allele on the inactive X chromosome and the silent allele on the active X chromosome were separated by the use of a restriction fragment length polymorphism prior to ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction. The chromatin structure of the Xist promoter was found to be consistent with the activity state of the Xist gene. The silent allele (on the active X chromosome) showed no footprints, while the expressed allele (on the inactive X chromosome) showed footprints at a consensus sequence for a CCAAT box, two weak Sp1 sites, and a weak TATA box.