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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)