Transcriptional Readthrough Interrupts Boundary Function in Drosophila

Olga Kyrchanova, Vladimir Sokolov, Maxim Tikhonov, Galya Manukyan, Paul Schedl, Pavel Georgiev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In higher eukaryotes, distance enhancer-promoter interactions are organized by topologically associated domains, tethering elements, and chromatin insulators/boundaries. While insulators/boundaries play a central role in chromosome organization, the mechanisms regulating their functions are largely unknown. In the studies reported here, we have taken advantage of the well-characterized Drosophila bithorax complex (BX-C) to study one potential mechanism for controlling boundary function. The regulatory domains of BX-C are flanked by boundaries, which block crosstalk with their neighboring domains and also support long-distance interactions between the regulatory domains and their target gene. As many lncRNAs have been found in BX-C, we asked whether readthrough transcription (RT) can impact boundary function. For this purpose, we took advantage of two BX-C boundary replacement platforms, Fab-7attP50 and F2attP, in which the Fab-7 and Fub boundaries, respectively, are deleted and replaced with an attP site. We introduced boundary elements, promoters, and polyadenylation signals arranged in different combinations and then assayed for boundary function. Our results show that RT can interfere with boundary activity. Since lncRNAs represent a significant fraction of Pol II transcripts in multicellular eukaryotes, it is therefore possible that RT may be a widely used mechanism to alter boundary function and regulation of gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11368
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


  • Abd-B
  • Fab-7
  • Fub
  • bithorax complex
  • chromatin boundary
  • insulator
  • lncRNA
  • scs
  • transcription


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