Article

An Epigenetic Signature for Monoallelic Olfactory Receptor Expression

Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 31.96). 05/2011; 145(4):555-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.03.040
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Constitutive heterochromatin is traditionally viewed as the static form of heterochromatin that silences pericentromeric and telomeric repeats in a cell cycle- and differentiation-independent manner. Here, we show that, in the mouse olfactory epithelium, olfactory receptor (OR) genes are marked in a highly dynamic fashion with the molecular hallmarks of constitutive heterochromatin, H3K9me3 and H4K20me3. The cell type and developmentally dependent deposition of these marks along the OR clusters are, most likely, reversed during the process of OR choice to allow for monogenic and monoallelic OR expression. In contrast to the current view of OR choice, our data suggest that OR silencing takes place before OR expression, indicating that it is not the product of an OR-elicited feedback signal. Our findings suggest that chromatin-mediated silencing lays a molecular foundation upon which singular and stochastic selection for gene expression can be applied.

2 Bookmarks
 · 
216 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Odor perception requires that each olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) class continuously express a single odorant receptor (OR) regardless of changes in the environment. However, little is known about the control of the robust, class-specific OR expression involved. Here, we investigate the cis-regulatory mechanisms and components that generate robust and OSN class-specific OR expression in Drosophila. Our results demonstrate that the spatial restriction of expression to a single OSN class is directed by clusters of transcription-factor DNA binding motifs. Our dissection of motif clusters of differing complexity demonstrates that structural components such as motif overlap and motif order integrate transcription factor combinations and chromatin status to form a spatially restricted pattern. We further demonstrate that changes in metabolism or temperature perturb the function of complex clusters. We show that the cooperative regulation between motifs around and within the cluster generates robust, class-specific OR expression.
    PLoS Genetics 03/2015; 11(3):e1005051. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005051 · 8.17 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The transcriptional activation of one out of ?2800 olfactory receptor (OR) alleles is a poorly understood process. Here, we identify a plethora of putative OR enhancers and study their in vivo activity in olfactory neurons. Distinguished by an unusual epigenetic signature, candidate OR enhancers are characterized by extensive interchromosomal interactions associated with OR transcription and share a similar pattern of transcription factor footprints. In particular, we establish the role of the transcription factor Bptf as a facilitator of both enhancer interactions and OR transcription. Our observations agree with the model whereby OR transcription occurs in the context of multiple interacting enhancers. Disruption of these interchromosomal interactions results in weak and multigenic OR expression, suggesting that the rare coincidence of numerous enhancers over a stochastically chosen OR may account for the singularity and robustness in OR transcription.
    Cell 10/2014; 159(3):543-57. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.033 · 33.12 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An astounding property of the nervous system is its cellular diversity. This diversity, which was initially realized by morphological and electrophysiological differences, is ultimately produced by variations in gene-expression programs. In most cases, these variations are determined by external cues. However, a growing number of neuronal types have been identified in which inductive signals cannot explain the few but decisive transcriptional differences that cause cell diversification. Here, we show that heterochromatic silencing, which we find is governed by histone methyltransferases G9a (KMT1C) and GLP (KMT1D), is essential for stochastic and singular olfactory receptor (OR) expression. Deletion of G9a and GLP dramatically reduces the complexity of the OR transcriptome, resulting in transcriptional domination by a few ORs and loss of singularity in OR expression. Thus, our data suggest that, in addition to its previously known functions, heterochromatin creates an epigenetic platform that affords stochastic, mutually exclusive gene choices and promotes cellular diversity.
    Cell Reports 11/2014; 9(3):884-92. DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.001 · 7.21 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
35 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014