Murine ZFP-37 is a member of the large family of C2H2 type zinc finger proteins. It is characterized by a truncated NH2-terminal Kruppel-associated box and is thought to play a role in transcriptional regulation. During development Zfp-37 mRNA is most abundant in the developing central nervous system, and in the adult mouse expression is restricted largely to testis and brain. Here we show that at the protein level ZFP-37 is detected readily in neurons of the adult central nervous system but hardly in testis. In brain ZFP-37 is associated with nucleoli and appears to contact heterochromatin. Mouse and human ZFP-37 have a basic histone H1-like linker domain, located between KRAB and zinc finger regions, which binds double-stranded DNA. Thus we suggest that ZFP-37 is a structural protein of the neuronal nucleus which plays a role in the maintenance of specialized chromatin domains.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Payen, E., Verkerk, T., Michalovich, D., Dreyer, S. D., Winterpacht, A., Lee, B., … Grosveld, F. (1998). The centromeric/nucleolar chromatin protein ZFP-37 may function to specify neuronal nuclear domains. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Retrieved from