Role of the polycomb protein EED in the propagation of repressive histone marks
ABSTRACT Polycomb group proteins have an essential role in the epigenetic maintenance of repressive chromatin states. The gene-silencing activity of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) depends on its ability to trimethylate lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27) by the catalytic SET domain of the EZH2 subunit, and at least two other subunits of the complex: SUZ12 and EED. Here we show that the carboxy-terminal domain of EED specifically binds to histone tails carrying trimethyl-lysine residues associated with repressive chromatin marks, and that this leads to the allosteric activation of the methyltransferase activity of PRC2. Mutations in EED that prevent it from recognizing repressive trimethyl-lysine marks abolish the activation of PRC2 in vitro and, in Drosophila, reduce global methylation and disrupt development. These findings suggest a model for the propagation of the H3K27me3 mark that accounts for the maintenance of repressive chromatin domains and for the transmission of a histone modification from mother to daughter cells.
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ABSTRACT: Since the earliest observations of cells undergoing mitosis, it has been clear that there is an intimate relationship between the cell cycle and nuclear chromatin architecture. The nuclear envelope and chromatin undergo robust assembly and disassembly during the cell cycle, and transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of histone biogenesis and chromatin modification is controlled in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Chromatin binding proteins and chromatin modifications in turn influence the expression of critical cell cycle regulators, the accessibility of origins for DNA replication, DNA repair, and cell fate. In this review we aim to provide an integrated discussion of how the cell cycle machinery impacts nuclear architecture and vice-versa. We highlight recent advances in understanding cell cycle-dependent histone biogenesis and histone modification deposition, how cell cycle regulators control histone modifier activities, the contribution of chromatin modifications to origin firing for DNA replication, and newly identified roles for nucleoporins in regulating cell cycle gene expression, gene expression memory and differentiation. We close with a discussion of how cell cycle status may impact chromatin to influence cell fate decisions, under normal contexts of differentiation as well as in instances of cell fate reprogramming.Frontiers in Genetics 02/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2015.00019
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ABSTRACT: GLP and G9a are major H3K9 dimethylases and are essential for mouse early embryonic development. GLP and G9a both harbor ankyrin repeat domains that are capable of binding H3K9 methylation. However, the functional significance of their recognition of H3K9 methylation is unknown. Here, we report that the histone methyltransferase activities of GLP and G9a are stimulated by neighboring nucleosomes that are premethylated at H3K9. These stimulation events function in cis and are dependent on the H3K9 methylation binding activities of ankyrin repeat domains of GLP and G9a. Disruption of the H3K9 methylation-binding activity of GLP in mice causes growth retardation of embryos, ossification defects of calvaria, and postnatal lethality due to starvation of the pups. In mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) harboring a mutant GLP that lacks H3K9me1-binding activity, critical pluripotent genes, including Oct4 and Nanog, display inefficient establishment of H3K9me2 and delayed gene silencing during differentiation. Collectively, our study reveals a new activation mechanism for GLP and G9a that plays an important role in ESC differentiation and mouse viability. © 2015 Liu et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Molecular cell 01/2014; 53(2):277–289. · 14.46 Impact Factor