5-aza-C-induced changes in the time of replication of the X chromosomes of Microtus agrestis are followed by non-random reversion to a late pattern of replication

Eva Jablonka, Ruth Goitein, Karl Sperling, Howard Cedar, Menashe Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Treatment with 5-azacytidine (5-aza-C) causes an advance in the time of replication and enhances the DNase-I sensitivity of the inactive X chromosome in Gerbillus gerbillus fibroblasts. We found that these changes were not stably inherited and upon removal of the drug the cells reverted to the original state of one active and one inactive X chromosome. In order to determine whether this reversion was random, we used a cell line of female Microtus agrestis fibroblasts in which the two X chromosomes are morphologically distinguishable. In this work we show that the reversion to a late pattern of replication is not random, and the originally late replicating X chromosome is preferentially "reinactivated", suggesting an imprinting-like marking of one or both X chromosomes. The changes in the replication pattern of the X chromosome were associated with changes in total DNA methylation. Double treatment of cells with 5-aza-C did not alter this pattern of euchromatin activation and reinactivation. A dramatic advance in the time of replication of the entire X linked constitutive heterochromatin (XCH) region was however, observed in the doubly treated cells. This change in the replication timing of the XCH occurred in both X chromosomes and was independent of the changes observed in the euchromatic region. These observations suggest the existence of at least two independent regulatory sites which control the timing of replication of two large chromosomal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalChromosoma
Volume95
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1987
Externally publishedYes

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