Open Access

Muscling in on chromosomal clusters

  • Jonathan B Weitzman
Genome Biology20023:spotlight-20020902-01

DOI: 10.1186/gb-spotlight-20020902-01

Published: 2 September 2002

It is becoming increasing apparent that eukaryotic genomes are organized into regions containing clusters of co-regulated genes. In the August 29 Nature, Roy et al. describe clusters of muscle-expressing genes in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome (Nature 2002, 418:975-979). They developed a method called 'messenger RNA tagging' that uses immunoprecipitation of an epitope-tagged RNA-binding protein to purify mRNA expressed in different tissues; they then used DNA microarrays to analyse the enrichment of co-immunoprecipitated mRNAs. Roy et al. found over 1,000 genes that were consistently enriched in six muscle mRNA-tagging experiments. When they mapped the chromosomal locations of these genes, they found that almost a third of them are positioned within 10kb of another muscle-expressed gene. Many of the muscle genes are found in clusters of 2-5 genes, sometimes interrupted by a non-expressed gene. Additional analysis provided evidence for clustering of genes expressed in sperm or oocytes. Roy et al. speculate that gene clusters may represent regions of active chromatin.

References

  1. Evidence for large domains of similarly expressed genes in the Drosophila genome.Google Scholar
  2. Nature, [http://www.nature.com]
  3. The Kim Lab, [http://cmgm.stanford.edu/~kimlab]

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2002

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