Protein arginine methyltransferase 6 regulates embryonic stem cell identity.
ABSTRACT Histone arginine methylation has emerged as an important histone modification involved in gene regulation. Protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) 4 and 5 have been shown to play essential roles in early embryonic development and in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Recently, it has been reported that PRMT6-mediated di-methylation of histone H3 at arginine 2 (H3R2me2) can antagonize tri-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), which marks active genes. However, whether PRMT6 and PRMT6-mediated H3R2me2 play crucial roles in early embryonic development and ES cell identity remain unclear. Here, we have investigated their roles using gain and loss of function studies with mouse ES cells as a model system. We report that Prmt6 and histone H3R2 methylation levels increased when ES cells are induced to differentiate. Consistently, we find that differentiation of ES cells upon upregulation of Prmt6 is associated with decreased expression of pluripotency genes and increased expression of differentiation markers. We also observe that elevation of Prmt6 increases the methylation level of histone H3R2 and decreases H3K4me, Chd1, and Wdr5 levels at the promoter regions of Oct4 and Nanog. Surprisingly, knockdown of Prmt6 also leads to downregulation of pluripotency genes and induction of expression of differentiation markers suggesting that Prmt6 is important for ES cell pluripotency and self-renewal. Our results indicate that a critical level of Prmt6 and histone H3R2me must be maintained in mouse ES cells to sustain their pluripotency.
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ABSTRACT: Oct4 and Nanog are transcription factors required to maintain the pluripotency and self-renewal of embryonic stem (ES) cells. Using the chromatin immunoprecipitation paired-end ditags method, we mapped the binding sites of these factors in the mouse ES cell genome. We identified 1,083 and 3,006 high-confidence binding sites for Oct4 and Nanog, respectively. Comparative location analyses indicated that Oct4 and Nanog overlap substantially in their targets, and they are bound to genes in different configurations. Using de novo motif discovery algorithms, we defined the cis-acting elements mediating their respective binding to genomic sites. By integrating RNA interference-mediated depletion of Oct4 and Nanog with microarray expression profiling, we demonstrated that these factors can activate or suppress transcription. We further showed that common core downstream targets are important to keep ES cells from differentiating. The emerging picture is one in which Oct4 and Nanog control a cascade of pathways that are intricately connected to govern pluripotency, self-renewal, genome surveillance and cell fate determination.Nature Genetics 05/2006; 38(4):431-40. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Protein arginine methylation is a prevalent posttranslational modification in eukaryotic cells that has been implicated in signal transduction, the metabolism of nascent pre-RNA, and the transcriptional activation processes. In searching the human genome for protein arginine N-methyltransferase (PRMT) family members, a novel gene has been found on chromosome 1 that encodes for an apparent methyltransferase, PRMT6. The polypeptide chain of PRMT6 is 41.9 kDa consisting of a catalytic core sequence common to other PRMT enzymes. Expressed as a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein, PRMT6 demonstrates type I PRMT activity, capable of forming both omega-N(G)-monomethylarginine and asymmetric omega-N(G),N(G)-dimethylarginine derivatives on the recombinant glycine- and arginine-rich substrate in a processive manner with a specific activity of 144 pmol methyl groups transferred min(-1) mg(-1) enzyme. A comparison of substrate specificity reveals that PRMT6 is functionally distinct from two previously characterized type I enzymes, PRMT1 and PRMT4. In addition, PRMT6 displays automethylation activity; it is the first PRMT to do so. This novel human PRMT, which resides solely in the nucleus when fused to the green fluorescent protein, joins a family of enzymes with diverse functions within cells.Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2002; 277(5):3537-43. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report the application of single-molecule-based sequencing technology for high-throughput profiling of histone modifications in mammalian cells. By obtaining over four billion bases of sequence from chromatin immunoprecipitated DNA, we generated genome-wide chromatin-state maps of mouse embryonic stem cells, neural progenitor cells and embryonic fibroblasts. We find that lysine 4 and lysine 27 trimethylation effectively discriminates genes that are expressed, poised for expression, or stably repressed, and therefore reflect cell state and lineage potential. Lysine 36 trimethylation marks primary coding and non-coding transcripts, facilitating gene annotation. Trimethylation of lysine 9 and lysine 20 is detected at satellite, telomeric and active long-terminal repeats, and can spread into proximal unique sequences. Lysine 4 and lysine 9 trimethylation marks imprinting control regions. Finally, we show that chromatin state can be read in an allele-specific manner by using single nucleotide polymorphisms. This study provides a framework for the application of comprehensive chromatin profiling towards characterization of diverse mammalian cell populations.Nature 06/2007; 448(7153):553-560. · 38.60 Impact Factor