ESEARCHERS are inventing and honing the technologies to provide increasingly clear pictures of the organization of the nucleus. One driving issue is the role of chromosome arrangement in gene expression. The intractable nature of this question lies in the fact that it is not yet possible to extract a "chromosome arrangement" and assay it for function. Instead, it must be observed in situ and correlated with patterns of gene expression. Today, as exemplified by Hiraoka et al. (1993) in this issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, as well as by others (for example, Selig et al., 1992; reviewed by Manuelidis, 1990; Trask, 1991; Jackson, 1991), we are equipped with a level of resolution that allows the positioning of each gene on a temporal and spatial map of the nucleus. Hiraoka et al. (1993) focus on that magical moment in Drosophila development when the syncytial blastoderm undergoes cellularization and the embryo launches itself full force into zygotic gene expression. By following the two histone loci situated on their homologous chromosomes, the authors demonstrate two striking changes in chromosome arrangement: (a) the loci pair, implying the onset of pairing for all homologous chromosomes, and (b) the loci move from
The Journal of Cell Biology – Rockefeller University Press
Published: Feb 1, 1993
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