Target sites for SINE integration in Brassica genomes display nuclear matrix binding activity

A. P. Tikhonov, L. Lavie, C. Tatout, J. L. Bennetzen, Z. Avramova, J. M. Deragon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) are ubiquitous components of complex animal and plant genomes. SINEs are believed to be important players in eukaryotic genome evolution. Studies on SINE integration sites have revealed non-random integration without strict nucleotide sequence requirements for the integration target, suggesting that the targeted DNA might assume specific secondary structures or protein associations. Here, we report that S1 SINE elements in the genomes of Brassica show an interesting preference for matrix attachment regions (MARs). Ten cloned genomic regions were tested for their ability to bind the nuclear matrix both before and after a SINE integration event. Eight of the genomic regions targeted by S1 display strong affinity for the nuclear matrix, while two show weaker binding. The SINE S1 did not display any matrix-binding capacity on its own in either non-methylated or methylated forms. In vivo, an integrated S1 is methylated while the surrounding genomic regions may remain undermethylated or undergo methylation. However, tested genomic regions containing methylated S1, with or without methylated flanking genomic sequences, were found to vary in their ability to bind the matrix in vitro. These results suggest a possible molecular basis for a preferential targeting of SINEs to MARs and a possible impact of the integration events upon gene and genome function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Brassica
  • DNA methylation
  • Nuclear matrix
  • Retrotransposons
  • SINE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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