Document Type


Publication Date



© 2016 Avva, Hart. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data implicate the Drosophila 32 kDa Boundary Element-Associated Factors BEAF-32A and BEAF-32B in both chromatin domain insulator element function and promoter function. They might also function as an epigenetic memory by remaining bound to mitotic chromosomes. Both proteins are made from the same gene. They differ in their N-terminal 80 amino acids, which contain single DNA-binding BED fingers. The remaining 200 amino acids are identical in the two proteins. The structure and function of the middle region of 120 amino acids is unknown, while the C-terminalregion of 80 amino acids has a putative leucine zipper and a BESS domain and mediates BEAF-BEAF interactions. Here we report a further characterization of BEAF. We show that the BESS domain alone is sufficient to mediate BEAF-BEAF interactions, although the presence of the putative leucine zipper on at least one protein strengthens the interactions. BEAF-32B is sufficient to rescue a null BEAF mutation in flies. Using mutant BEAF-32B rescue transgenes, we show that the middle region and the BESS domain are essential. In contrast, the last 40 amino acids of the middle region, which is poorly conserved among Drosophila species, is dispensable. Deleting the putative leucine zipper results in a hypomorphic mutant BEAF-32B protein. Finally, we document the dynamics of BEAF-32A-EGFP and BEAF-32B-mRFP during mitosis in embryos. A subpopulation of both proteins appears to remain on mitotic chromosomes and also on the mitotic spindle, while much of the fluorescence is dispersed during mitosis. Differences in the dynamics of the two proteins are observed in syncytial embryos, and both proteins show differences between syncytial and later embryos. This characterization of BEAF lays a foundation for future studies into molecular mechanisms of BEAF function.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)