HP1B is a euchromatic Drosophila HP1 homolog with links to metabolism

Academic Article


  • ABSTRACT Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) proteins are an important family of chromosomal proteins conserved among all major eukaryotic lineages. While HP1 proteins are best known for their role in heterochromatin, many HP1 proteins function in euchromatin as well. As a group, HP1 proteins carry out diverse functions, playing roles in the regulation of gene expression, genome stability, chromatin structure, and DNA repair. While the heterochromatic HP1 proteins are well studied, our knowledge of HP1 proteins with euchromatic distribution is lagging behind. We have created the first mutations in HP1B, a Drosophila HP1 protein with euchromatic function, and the Drosophila homolog most closely related to mammalian HP1α, HP1β, and HP1γ. We find that HP1B is a non-essential protein in Drosophila, with mutations affecting fertility and animal activity levels. In addition, animals lacking HP1B show altered food intake and higher body fat levels. Gene expression analysis of animals lacking HP1B demonstrates that genes with functions in various metabolic processes are affected primarily by HP1B loss. Our findings suggest that there is a link between the chromatin protein HP1B and the regulation of metabolism.
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    Author List

  • Mills B; Thomas A; Riddle N