The chromatin loop model predicts that genes within the same chromatin domain exhibit coordinated regulation. We here present the first direct experimental support for this model in plants. Two reporter genes, the E. coli ß-glucuronidase gene and the firefly luciferase gene, driven by different promoters, were placed between copies of the chicken lysozyme A element, a member of the matrix-associated region (MAR) group of chromatin boundary elements, and introduced in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). In plants carrying A elements, quantitative enzyme activities and mRNA levels of both genes show high correlations compared to control plants. The A element thus creates an artificial chromatin domain that yields coordinated expression. Surprisingly, enzyme activities correlated poorly with their respective mRNA levels. We hypothesize that this indicates the occurrence of "error pipelines" in data generation: systematic errors of a given analytical method will point in the same direction and cancel out in correlation analysis, resulting in better correlations. In combining different methods of analysis, however, such errors do not cancel out and as a result relevant correlations can be masked. Such error pipelines will have to be taken into account when different types of (e.g., whole-genome) data sets are combined in quantitative analyses.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|