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This project is a long-standing collaboration with Bill Marzluff’s lab

Lab members on this project:

  • Ashlesha Chaubal – postdoctoral fellow
  • Mark GeislerGMB graduate student
  • Jim Kemp – postdoctoral fellow
Histone locus bodies in Drosophila embryonic nuclei
Histone locus bodies in Drosophila embryonic nuclei

Proper gene expression is critical to all aspects of cell and developmental biology and involves the compartmentalization within specific nuclear domains of factors needed for production of mature mRNA. This is particularly true for cell cycle-regulated synthesis of histone mRNA, which is necessary for chromosome duplication and transmission in proliferating cells. The histone locus body (HLB) is a newly described nuclear body that associates with replication-dependent histone gene clusters and contains factors necessary for histone mRNA biosynthesis. These include transcription and pre-mRNA processing factors like U7 snRNP, which interacts with the 3’ end of nascent histone transcripts and stimulates accurate pre-mRNA processing and release of a unique mRNA that is not polyadenylated. This project will determine the molecular mechanisms of HLB formation and cell cycle regulation, and how this contributes to histone mRNA biosynthesis during Drosophila development. Our goal is to provide new insight into how specific aspects of nuclear architecture contribute to gene expression events necessary for cell proliferation.