Cooperation between a hierarchical set of recruitment sites targets the X chromosome for dosage compensation

Sarah Elizabeth Albritton, Anna Lena Kranz, Lara Heermans Winterkorn, Lena Annika Street, Sevinc Ercan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many organisms, it remains unclear how X chromosomes are specified for dosage compensation, since DNA sequence motifs shown to be important for dosage compensation complex (DCC) recruitment are themselves not X-specific. Here, we addressed this problem in C. elegans. We found that the DCC recruiter, SDC-2, is required to maintain open chromatin at a small number of primary DCC recruitment sites, whose sequence and genomic context are X-specific. Along the X, primary recruitment sites are interspersed with secondary sites, whose function is X-dependent. A secondary site can ectopically recruit the DCC when additional recruitment sites are inserted either in tandem or at a distance (>30 kb). Deletion of a recruitment site on the X results in reduced DCC binding across several megabases surrounded by topologically associating domain (TAD) boundaries. Our work elucidates that hierarchy and long-distance cooperativity between gene-regulatory elements target a single chromosome for regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23645
StatePublished - May 30 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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