Ring1b-mediated H2A ubiquitination associates with inactive X chromosomes and is involved in initiation of X inactivation
ABSTRACT Histone modifications are thought to serve as epigenetic markers that mediate dynamic changes in chromatin structure and regulation of gene expression. As a model system for understanding epigenetic silencing, X chromosome inactivation has been previously linked to a number of histone modifications including methylation and hypoacetylation. In this study, we provide evidence that supports H2A ubiquitination as a novel epigenetic marker for the inactive X chromosome (Xi) and links H2A ubiquitination to initiation of X inactivation. We found that the H2A-K119 ubiquitin E3 ligase Ring1b, a Polycomb group protein, is enriched on Xi in female trophoblast stem (TS) cells as well as differentiating embryonic stem (ES) cells. Consistent with Ring1b mediating H2A ubiquitination, ubiquitinated H2A (ubH2A) is also enriched on the Xi of both TS and ES cells. We demonstrate that the enrichment of Ring1b and ubH2A on Xi is transient during TS and ES cell differentiation, suggesting that the Ring1b and ubH2A are involved in the initiation of both imprinted and random X inactivation. Furthermore, we showed that the association of Ring1b and ubH2A with Xi is mitotically stable in non-differentiated TS cells.
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ABSTRACT: BRCA1-a breast and ovarian cancer suppressor gene-promotes genome integrity. To study the functionality of BRCA1 in the heterozygous state, we established a collection of primary human BRCA1(+/+) and BRCA1(mut/+) mammary epithelial cells and fibroblasts. Here we report that all BRCA1(mut/+) cells exhibited multiple normal BRCA1 functions, including the support of homologous recombination- type double-strand break repair (HR-DSBR), checkpoint functions, centrosome number control, spindle pole formation, Slug expression and satellite RNA suppression. In contrast, the same cells were defective in stalled replication fork repair and/or suppression of fork collapse, that is, replication stress. These defects were rescued by reconstituting BRCA1(mut/+) cells with wt BRCA1. In addition, we observed 'conditional' haploinsufficiency for HR-DSBR in BRCA1(mut/+) cells in the face of replication stress. Given the importance of replication stress in epithelial cancer development and of an HR defect in breast cancer pathogenesis, both defects are candidate contributors to tumorigenesis in BRCA1-deficient mammary tissue.Nature Communications 11/2014; 5:5496. DOI:10.1038/ncomms6496 · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Histones are subject to several post-translational modifications, which act to regulate gene expression and other processes on the DNA template. One such modification is the addition of a single ubiquitin moiety, which has been reported to influence chromatin dynamics and exhibit cross-talk with other histone modifications. Mono-ubiquitylation of H2B has been reported in eukaryotes as divergent as budding yeast, flies and humans, and is linked to transcriptional activation and gene silencing. Furthermore, ubiquitylation of H2A is also important for transcriptional repression in higher eukaryotes, and both histones play key roles in DNA repair. In this review, we will give an overview of the enzymes important for ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation of the various histone species, before examining the role of ubiquitylated histones in shaping the chromatin landscape and thus controlling the accessibility of DNA to effector proteins, through putative roles in promoting histone-histone interactions and stabilizing the structure of nucleosomes. We will finally discuss other processes reported to involve ubiquitylation of histones, including DNA repair, recombination and mRNA processing, underlining the diverse actions of these modifications.Frontiers in Bioscience 01/2012; 17(1):1051. DOI:10.2741/3973 · 4.25 Impact Factor