During the early cleavage period of Ascaris suum, chromatin diminution takes place in the somatic founder cells. In the process of chromatin diminution numerous heterochromatic blocks, consisting predominantly of highly repeated DNA, are discarded during mitotic anaphase and are later on digested in the cytoplasm. Very little is known about proteins that are involved in chromatin diminution. We have detected a nuclear protein and purified it to near homogeneity by its preferential binding to UV-damaged DNA. We termed this protein chromatin diminution associated factor 1 (CDAF1), because maximum binding activity per nucleus was observed to develop in 4–8-cell stages, when chromatin diminution occurs for the first time. CDAF1 recognizes cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in UV-damaged double-stranded DNA. Its binding properties identify CDAF1 as a novel kind of damaged-DNA binding protein. CDAF1 activity is almost not detectable in 1-celled embryos. It increases dramatically during formation of somatic founder cells and persists up to the first larval stage. However, CDAF1 is absent in tissues of adults. These findings led us to suggest that CDAF1 plays a dual role: during the early segregative cleavage period it might be involved in chromatin diminution as a transfactor and act in nucleotide excision repair as an accessory factor throughout embryogenesis.
Journal Article. 6944 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Chemistry ; Biochemistry ; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Molecular and Cell Biology
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