More About MECP2
Methyl C-p-G binding protein 2 (MeCP2) regulates gene expression. For genes that are switched on histone “tails” near the promotor region of the gene are acetylated, represented by white glowing balls. When these histones are acetylated the chromatin remains in an open configuration and gene transcription can take place.
Alternatively, when DNA further upstream from the promotor region is methylated, shown by yellow spikes, MeCP2 protein can bind to that DNA region. MeCP2 recruits a protein complex made up of Sin3A and HDAC (histone deacetylase). HDAC removes the acetyl groups from the histone tails, causing the chromatin to change its conformation to a tightly wound form that is not accessible to transcription factors. In the absence of bound transcription factors, the gene is off.
From Lecture 4 of the 2003 Holiday Lectures Series "Learning From Patients: The Science of Medicine."
MECP2 Teaching Tips
The animations in this section have a wide variety of classroom applications. Use the tips below to get started but look for more specific teaching tips in the near future. Please tell us how you are using the animations in your classroom by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director: Dennis Liu, Ph.D.
Scientific Direction: Huda Zoghbi, M.D.
Scientific Content: Satoshi Amagai, Ph.D.
Animator: Adapted from Drew Berry by Eric Keller