CELL BIOLOGY: EastEnders

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Science  21 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5465, pp. 401a-401
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5465.401a

A cell's nucleus represents a miracle of ordered packing, and the giant nuclei of larval Drosophila salivary glands provide a useful model to study chromosomal packing because they must accommodate giant polytene chromosomes. Wasser and Chia studied the nuclear architecture of larval salivary gland cells and localized a protein called EAST (enhanced adult sensory threshold) to areas of the nucleus (termed the extrachromosomal nuclear domain or END) not occupied by the chromosomes or by the nucleolus. Increasing the levels of EAST caused an accumulation of actin and the cell cycle protein CP60 in the END, and the normal fibrous distribution of CP60 inside the nucleus was found to be dependent on EAST expression. Furthermore, overexpression of EAST correlated with an expansion of the END. Altering the volume of the END may be important in restricting collision between chromosome arms, or during changes in chromosomal organization during the cell cycle. The EAST protein and the proteins associated with it appear to form an intranuclear network that also may regulate the intranuclear movement of proteins and RNAs.SMH

Nature Cell Biol.2, 268 (2000).

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