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Chromodomains bind RNA

Male flies compensate for having a single X chromosome by doubling the single X chromosome's level of expression. This increase is mediated by MOF, a histone H4 acetyltransferase. MOF, along with other proteins and an RNA called roX2, binds to the male X chromosome. In the 21 September Nature Akhtar et al. find that MOF and another dosage compensation protein called MSL-3 use their chromodomains to bind to roX2 and thus to the male X (Nature 2000, 407:405-409). Other chromodomain proteins, which function as chromatin regulators, may also have RNA-binding activity. If this is the case, non-coding RNAs may be more commonly involved in organizing regulatory complexes than has been appreciated to date.


  1. Dosage compensation in flies and worms: the ups and downs of X-chromosome regulation.

  2. Activation of transcription through histone H4 acetylation by MOF, an acetyltransferase essential for dosage compensation in Drosophila.

  3. The rox1 and rox2 RNAs are essential components of the compensasome, which mediates dosage compensation in Drosophila.

  4. Nature, []

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Wells, W. Chromodomains bind RNA. Genome Biol 1, spotlight-20000927-01 (2000).

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