Patterns of Histone H3 Lysine 27 Monomethylation and Erythroid Cell Type-specific Gene Expression

Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 09/2011; 286(45):39457-65. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.243006
Source: PubMed


Post-translational histone modifications, acting alone or in a context-dependent manner, influence numerous cellular processes via their regulation of gene expression. Monomethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (K27me1) is a poorly understood histone modification. Some reports describe depletion of K27Me1 at promoters and transcription start sites (TSS), implying its depletion at TSS is necessary for active transcription, while others have associated enrichment of H3K27me1 at TSS with increased levels of mRNA expression. Tissue- and gene-specific patterns of H3K27me1 enrichment and their correlation with gene expression were determined via chromatin immunoprecipitation on chip microarray (ChIP-chip) and human mRNA expression array analyses. Results from erythroid cells were compared with those in neural and muscle cells. H3K27me1 enrichment varied depending on levels of cell-type specific gene expression, with highest enrichment over transcriptionally active genes. Over individual genes, the highest levels of H3K27me1 enrichment were found over the gene bodies of highly expressed genes. In contrast to H3K4me3, which was highly enriched at the TSS of actively transcribing genes, H3K27me1 was selectively depleted at the TSS of actively transcribed genes. There was markedly decreased to no H3K27me1 enrichment in genes with low expression. At some locations, H3K27 monomethylation was also found to be associated with chromatin signatures of gene enhancers.

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    • "In addition, although previous studies have identified typical genome-wide distribution patterns for H3K27 methylation, linking the H3K27me1 to active genes (Cui et al., 2009; Steiner et al., 2011; Vakoc et al., 2006), little is known about the contribution of PRC2 activity for the distribution and regulation of these modifications throughout the genome. Here, we provide a genome-wide functional characterization of PRC2-dependent H3K27me1 and H3K27me2 in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). "
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    ABSTRACT: H3K27me3 is deposited at promoters by the preferential association of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) with CpG-rich DNA elements regulating development by repressing gene transcription. H3K27 is also present in mono- and dimethylated states; however, the functional roles of H3K27me1 and H3K27me2 deposition remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that PRC2 activity is not only associated with H3K27me3 but also regulates all forms of H3K27 methylation in a spatially defined manner, contributing to different genomic functions in mouse embryonic stem cells. H3K27me1 accumulates within transcribed genes, promotes transcription, and is regulated by Setd2-dependent H3K36me3 deposition. Contrarily, H3K27me2 is present on approximately 70% of total histone H3 and is distributed in large chromatin domains, exerting protective functions by preventing firing of non-cell-type-specific enhancers. Considering that only 5%-10% of deregulated genes in PRC2-deficient cells are direct H3K27me3 targets, our data support an active role for all H3K27 methylated forms in regulating transcription and determining cell identity.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Molecular cell
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    • "We note that B-cell CSPEs were already associated with elevated levels of BRG1 binding in HSPCs (Figure 6E), suggesting that chromatin remodeling by BRG1 may be required for subsequent establishment of B-cell-specific enhancers, consistent with previous observations in erythrocyte differentiation [8]. The presence of poorly understood H3K27me1 is puzzling, as previous analyses have shown that H3K27me1 in gene bodies positively correlates with expression [16], and that it may show some enrichment in enhancers [52]. That these TS elements contain repressive marks in the other cell types is logical, since, combined with the lack of active marks, this could result in silencing of target genes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Human blood develops from self-renewing hematopoietic stem cells to terminal lineages and necessitates regulator and effector gene expression changes; each cell type specifically expresses a subset of genes to carry out a specific function. Gene expression changes coincide with histone modification, histone variant deposition, and recruitment of transcription-related enzymes to specific genetic loci. Transcriptional regulation has been mostly studied using in vitro systems while epigenetic changes occurring during in vivo development remain poorly understood. Results By integrating previously published and novel global expression profiles from human CD34+/CD133+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), in vivo differentiated human CD4+ T-cells and CD19+ B-cells, and in vitro differentiated CD36+ erythrocyte precursors, we identified hundreds of transcripts specifically expressed in each cell type. To relate concurrent epigenomic changes to expression, we examined genome-wide distributions of H3K4me1, H3K4me3, H3K27me1, H3K27me3, histone variant H2A.Z, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler BRG1, and RNA Polymerase II in these cell types, as well as embryonic stem cells. These datasets revealed that numerous differentiation genes are primed for subsequent downstream expression by BRG1 and PolII binding in HSPCs, as well as the bivalent H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 modifications in the HSPCs prior to their expression in downstream, differentiated cell types; much HSPC bivalency is retained from embryonic stem cells. After differentiation, bivalency resolves to active chromatin configuration in the specific lineage, while it remains in parallel differentiated lineages. PolII and BRG1 are lost in closer lineages; bivalency resolves to silent monovalency in more distant lineages. Correlation of expression with epigenomic changes predicts tens of thousands of potential common and tissue-specific enhancers, which may contribute to expression patterns and differentiation pathways. Conclusions Several crucial lineage factors are bivalently prepared for their eventual expression or repression. Bivalency is not only resolved during differentiation but is also established in a step-wise manner in differentiated cell types. We note a progressive, specific silencing of alternate lineage genes in certain cell types coinciding with H3K27me3 enrichment, though expression silencing is maintained in its absence. Globally, the expression of type-specific genes across many cell types correlates strongly with their epigenetic profiles. These epigenomic data appear useful for further understanding mechanisms of differentiation and function of human blood lineages.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Genomics
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    ABSTRACT: Identification of cell-type specific enhancers is important for understanding the regulation of programs controlling cellular development and differentiation. Enhancers are typically marked by the co-transcriptional activator protein p300 or by groups of cell-expressed transcription factors. We hypothesized that a unique set of enhancers regulates gene expression in human erythroid cells, a highly specialized cell type evolved to provide adequate amounts of oxygen throughout the body. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing, genome-wide maps of candidate enhancers were constructed for p300 and four transcription factors, GATA1, NF-E2, KLF1, and SCL, using primary human erythroid cells. These data were combined with gene expression analyses and candidate enhancers identified. Consistent with their predicted function as candidate enhancers, there was statistically significant enrichment of p300 and combinations of co-localizing erythroid transcription factors within 1-50 kb of the TSS of genes highly expressed in erythroid cells. Candidate enhancers were also enriched near genes with known erythroid cell function or phenotype. Candidate enhancers exhibited moderate conservation with mouse and minimal conservation with nonplacental vertebrates. Candidate enhancers were mapped to set of erythroid associated, biologically relevant, SNPs from the GWAS catalog of the NHGRI. Fourteen candidate enhancers, representing 10 genetic loci, mapped to sites associated with biologically relevant erythroid traits. Fragments from these loci directed statistically significant expression in reporter gene assays. Identification of enhancers in human erythroid cells will allow a better understanding of erythroid cell development, differentiation, structure, and function, and provide insights into inherited and acquired hematologic disease.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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