[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ring1B is an essential member of the highly conserved Polycomb group proteins, which orchestrate developmental processes, cell growth and stem cell fate by modifying local chromatin structure. Ring1B was found to be the E3 ligase that monoubiquitinates histone H2A, which adds a new level of chromatin modification to Polycomb group proteins. Here we report that Ring1B belongs to the exclusive group of proteins that for their translation depend on a stable 5' UTR sequence in their mRNA known as an Internal Ribosome Entry Site (IRES). In cell transfection assays the Ring1B IRES confers significantly higher expression levels of Ring1B than a Ring1B cDNA without the IRES. Also, dual luciferase assays show strong activity of the Ring1B IRES. Although our findings indicate Ring1B can be translated under conditions where cap-dependent translation is impaired, we found the Ring1B IRES to be cap-dependent. This raises the possibility that translational control of Ring1B is a multi-layered process and that translation of Ring1B needs to be maintained under varying conditions, which is in line with its essential role as an E3 ligase for monoubiquitination of histone H2A in the PRC1 Polycomb protein complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) core member Ring1b/Rnf2, with ubiquitin E3 ligase activity towards histone H2A at lysine 119, is essential for early embryogenesis. To obtain more insight into the role of Ring1b in early development, we studied its function in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells.
We investigated the effects of Ring1b ablation on transcriptional regulation using Ring1b conditional knockout ES cells and large-scale gene expression analysis. The absence of Ring1b results in aberrant expression of key developmental genes and deregulation of specific differentiation-related pathways, including TGFbeta signaling, cell cycle regulation and cellular communication. Moreover, ES cell markers, including Zfp42/Rex-1 and Sox2, are downregulated. Importantly, retained expression of ES cell regulators Oct4, Nanog and alkaline phosphatase indicates that Ring1b-deficient ES cells retain important ES cell specific characteristics. Comparative analysis of our expression profiling data with previously published global binding studies shows that the genes that are bound by Ring1b in ES cells have bivalent histone marks, i.e. both active H3K4me3 and repressive H3K27me3, or the active H3K4me3 histone mark alone and are associated with CpG-'rich' promoters. However, deletion of Ring1b results in deregulation, mainly derepression, of only a subset of these genes, suggesting that additional silencing mechanisms are involved in repression of the other Ring1b bound genes in ES cells.
Ring1b is essential to stably maintain an undifferentiated state of mouse ES cells by repressing genes with important roles during differentiation and development. These genes are characterized by high CpG content promoters and bivalent histone marks or the active H3K4me3 histone mark alone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maintenance of cell identity and cell fate depends on the tight regulation of gene expression patterns in correct time and space. Two families of proteins, the trithorax group (trxG) and the Polycomb group (PcG), use epigenetic mechanisms to faithfully ensure that designated genes are maintained on or off throughout the life of the organism. This maintenance function is imperative to allow the proper development of an organism from a single cell to an organized combination of multifunctional cells. Here, we briefly review the advances achieved in recent years aimed at understanding how members of PcG and trxG function (for more in-depth reviews, see Otte and Kwaks 2003; Pirrotta et al. 2003; Lund and van Lohuizen 2004; Valk-Lingbeek et al. 2004). Particularly, we will discuss methods that can be employed to uncover additional target genes regulated by PcG and/or trxG families. Additionally, we will focus on recent results linking PcG regulation with X-inactivation and with stem cell biology.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology