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Title: HP2-like protein: a new piece of the facultative heterochromatin puzzle
Authors: Volpi, Silvia
Bongiorni, Silvia
Prantera, Giorgio 
Keywords: HP2;HP1;Facultative heterochromatin;Genomic imprinting;Epigenetics;Mealybug
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Source: Volpi S., Bongiorni S., Prantera G. 2007. HP2-like protein: a new piece of the facultative heterochromatin puzzle. "Chromosoma" 116(3): 249-258.
In Drosophila melanogaster, the two chromosomal proteins HP1 and HP2 colocalize on heterochromatic and euchromatic sites in polytene chromosomes. Mutations in the HP2 gene act as dominant suppressors of position effect variegation, demonstrating a role for HP2 in the formation or maintenance of heterochromatin. In this paper, we investigated whether a putative homolog of the D. melanogaster HP2 is involved in the facultative heterochromatinization process in mealybugs. Using an antibody raised against the Drosophila HP2, we identified in the mealybug Planococcus citri a cross-reactive epitope, which we refer to as HP2-like. We investigated the HP2-like pattern during the male embryo development where the entire paternal haploid chromosome set becomes heterochromatic. The HP2 antibody heavily decorates the chromocenters, where it localizes with HP1, and marks the chromatin before it acquires the full cytological characteristics of the male-specific heterochromatin. In euchromatic chromosomes, HP2-like is mainly concentrated at telomeric sites. The interplay between HP2-like and HP1-like was studied by dsRNA interference experiments. Extinguishing HP1-like expression by RNAi does not prevent the association of HP2-like with facultative heterochromatin, implying that HP2-like binds to chromatin in a HP1- independent manner. Our results confirm and extend the structural and functional conservation of proteins involved in heterochromatin assembly.
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ISSN: ISSN: 0009-5915
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