Histone methyltransferase activity of a Drosophila Polycomb group repressor complex.
ABSTRACT Polycomb group (PcG) proteins maintain transcriptional repression during development, likely by creating repressive chromatin states. The Extra Sex Combs (ESC) and Enhancer of Zeste [E(Z)] proteins are partners in an essential PcG complex, but its full composition and biochemical activities are not known. A SET domain in E(Z) suggests this complex might methylate histones. We purified an ESC-E(Z) complex from Drosophila embryos and found four major subunits: ESC, E(Z), NURF-55, and the PcG repressor, SU(Z)12. A recombinant complex reconstituted from these four subunits methylates lysine-27 of histone H3. Mutations in the E(Z) SET domain disrupt methyltransferase activity in vitro and HOX gene repression in vivo. These results identify E(Z) as a PcG protein with enzymatic activity and implicate histone methylation in PcG-mediated silencing.
Article: PcG-Mediated Higher-Order Chromatin Structures Modulate Replication Programs at the Drosophila BX-C.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Polycomb group proteins (PcG) exert conserved epigenetic functions that convey maintenance of repressed transcriptional states, via post-translational histone modifications and high order structure formation. During S-phase, in order to preserve cell identity, in addition to DNA information, PcG-chromatin-mediated epigenetic signatures need to be duplicated requiring a tight coordination between PcG proteins and replication programs. However, the interconnection between replication timing control and PcG functions remains unknown. Using Drosophila embryonic cell lines, we find that, while presence of specific PcG complexes and underlying transcription state are not the sole determinants of cellular replication timing, PcG-mediated higher-order structures appear to dictate the timing of replication and maintenance of the silenced state. Using published datasets we show that PRC1, PRC2, and PhoRC complexes differently correlate with replication timing of their targets. In the fully repressed BX-C, loss of function experiments revealed a synergistic role for PcG proteins in the maintenance of replication programs through the mediation of higher-order structures. Accordingly, replication timing analysis performed on two Drosophila cell lines differing for BX-C gene expression states, PcG distribution, and chromatin domain conformation revealed a cell-type-specific replication program that mirrors lineage-specific BX-C higher-order structures. Our work suggests that PcG complexes, by regulating higher-order chromatin structure at their target sites, contribute to the definition and the maintenance of genomic structural domains where genes showing the same epigenetic state replicate at the same time.PLoS Genetics 02/2013; 9(2):e1003283. · 8.69 Impact Factor
Article: Cell Cycle-Dependent Recruitment of Polycomb Proteins to the ASNS Promoter Counteracts C/ebp-Mediated Transcriptional Activation in Bombyx mori.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Epigenetic modifiers and transcription factors contribute to developmentally programmed gene expression. Here, we establish a functional link between epigenetic regulation by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins and transcriptional regulation by C/ebp that orchestrates the correct expression of Bombyx mori asparagine synthetase (BmASNS), a gene involved in the biosynthesis of asparagine. We show that the cis-regulatory elements of YY1-binding motifs and the CpG island present on the BmASNS promoter are required for the recruitment of PcG proteins and the subsequent deposition of the epigenetic repression mark H3K27me3. RNAi-mediated knockdown of PcG genes leads to derepression of the BmASNS gene via the recruitment of activators, including BmC/ebp, to the promoter. Intriguingly, we find that PcG proteins and BmC/ebp can dynamically modulate the transcriptional output of the BmASNS target in a cell cycle-dependent manner. It will be essential to suppress BmASNS expression by PcG proteins at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle in the presence of BmC/ebp activator. Thus, our results provide a novel insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the recruitment and regulation of the PcG system at a discrete gene locus in Bombyx mori.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e52320. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Polycomb Group Gene OsFIE2 Regulates Rice (Oryza sativa) Seed Development and Grain Filling via a Mechanism Distinct from Arabidopsis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cereal endosperm represents 60% of the calories consumed by human beings worldwide. In addition, cereals also serve as the primary feedstock for livestock. However, the regulatory mechanism of cereal endosperm and seed development is largely unknown. Polycomb complex has been shown to play a key role in the regulation of endosperm development in Arabidopsis, but its role in cereal endosperm development remains obscure. Additionally, the enzyme activities of the polycomb complexes have not been demonstrated in plants. Here we purified the rice OsFIE2-polycomb complex using tandem affinity purification and demonstrated its specific H3 methyltransferase activity. We found that the OsFIE2 gene product was responsible for H3K27me3 production specifically in vivo. Genetic studies showed that a reduction of OsFIE2 expression led to smaller seeds, partially filled seeds, and partial loss of seed dormancy. Gene expression and proteomics analyses found that the starch synthesis rate limiting step enzyme and multiple storage proteins are down-regulated in OsFIE2 reduction lines. Genome wide ChIP-Seq data analysis shows that H3K27me3 is associated with many genes in the young seeds. The H3K27me3 modification and gene expression in a key helix-loop-helix transcription factor is shown to be regulated by OsFIE2. Our results suggest that OsFIE2-polycomb complex positively regulates rice endosperm development and grain filling via a mechanism highly different from that in Arabidopsis.PLoS Genetics 03/2013; 9(3):e1003322. · 8.69 Impact Factor