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Deuring, R., Fanti, L., Armstrong, J.A., Sarte, M., Papoulas, O., Prestel, M., Daubresse, G., Verardo, M., Moseley, S.L., Berloco, M., Tsukiyama, T., Wu, C., Pimpinelli, S., and Tamkun, J.W. 2000. The ISWI Chromatin-Remodeling Protein Is Required for Gene Expression and the Maintenance of Higher Order Chromatin Structure In Vivo. Molecular Cell 5: 355-365. Full Article

Drosophila ISWI, a highly conserved member of the SWI2/SNF2 family of ATPases, is the catalytic subunit of three chromatin-remodeling complexes: NURF, CHRAC, and ACF. To clarify the biological functions of ISWI, we generated and characterized null and dominant-negative ISWI mutations. We found that ISWI mutations affect both cell viability and gene expression during Drosophila development. ISWI mutations also cause striking alterations in the structure of the male X chromosome. The ISWI protein does not colocalize with RNA Pol II on salivary gland polytene chromosomes, suggesting a possible role for ISWI in transcriptional repression. These findings reveal novel functions for the ISWI ATPase and underscore its importance in chromatin remodeling in vivo.

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