Exploring the xol-1-independent role of SEX-1 in dosage compensation

Condensin complexes have major roles in interphase gene regulation that are not very well understood. We study the condensin-like C. elegans dosage compensation complex as a model to dissect the mechanisms of gene regulation used by condensin complexes. In C. elegans, transcription from the two X chromosomes of the hermaphrodite are reduced by half to match that of the XO male. This dosage compensation is established by the C. elegans dosage compensation complex (DCC). The DCC consists of Condensin IDC, a C. elegans specific condensin complex that differs from the canonical Condensin I by one subunit. We present evidence for a novel pathway that relies on the activity of a transcription factor, SEX-1.
SEX-1 is capable of directly binding to gene promoters in order to control their expression. Based on this, we will use localization, gene expression and imaging techniques to characterize the xol-1-independent role of SEX-1 in dosage compensation. Characterizing this SEX-1-mediated pathway will provide us with insight about mechanisms employed by the DCC to repress the X chromosome.