Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published October 1989 | public
Journal Article

Chromatin structure as a molecular marker of cell lineage and developmental potential in neural crest-derived chromaffin cells


Adrenal medullary chromaffin cells have the capacity to transdifferentiate into sympathetic neurons. We show here that SCG10, a neural-specific gene that is induced during this transdifferentiation, is maintained in mature chromaffin cells in a potentially active chromatin conformation marked by two DNAase I hypersensitive sites (HSS). A low level of transcription is associated with this conformation. The HSS are also present in neurons expressing high levels of SCG10, but not in nonneuronal cells. Experiments using transgenic mice suggest that these HSS can in principle form in any cell type expressing the gene, but that a cis-repression mechanism normally prevents their assembly in nonneuronal cells. We suggest that the SCG10 HSS may represent a molecular marker of the lineage and phenotypic plasticity of chromaffin cells.

Additional Information

© 1989 Cell Press. Received May 24, 1989; Revised July 3, 1989. We thank Ms. Li-Ching Lo for performing the quantitative immunohistochemical analysis, Dr. Reuven Stein for his contributions to the analysis of SCGlO gene structure, Drs. Bruce Birren and Bernardo Nadal-Ginard for the gifts of the G_β and myosin heavy chain probes, respectively, and Dr. Michael Greenberg (Harvard University) for advice on the nuclear run-on assays. We are also grateful to members of the Anderson laboratory and Drs. Kai Zinn, Barbara Wold, Alison Doupe, Paul Patterson, and Richard Axel for their constructive comments on this manuscript. We thank Mr. Steve Padilla for excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by NIH grant No. ROl-NS23476 and individual NIH postdoctoral fellowships to D. J. V. and C. W. W.; the transgenic mouse work was supported by a Searle Scholars award to D. J. A. and a Markey internal grant in developmental biology.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023