skip to main content

Title: Dri1 mediates heterochromatin assembly via RNAi and histone deacetylation
Abstract Heterochromatin, a transcriptionally silenced chromatin domain, is important for genome stability and gene expression. Histone 3 lysine 9 methylation (H3K9me) and histone hypoacetylation are conserved epigenetic hallmarks of heterochromatin. In fission yeast, RNA interference (RNAi) plays a key role in H3K9 methylation and heterochromatin silencing. However, how RNAi machinery and histone deacetylases (HDACs) are coordinated to ensure proper heterochromatin assembly is still unclear. Previously, we showed that Dpb4, a conserved DNA polymerase epsilon subunit, plays a key role in the recruitment of HDACs to heterochromatin during S phase. Here, we identified a novel RNA-binding protein Dri1 that interacts with Dpb4. GFP-tagged Dri1 forms distinct foci mostly in the nucleus, showing a high degree of colocalization with Swi6/Heterochromatin Protein 1. Deletion of dri1+ leads to defects in silencing, H3K9me, and heterochromatic siRNA generation. We also showed that Dri1 physically associates with heterochromatic transcripts, and is required for the recruitment of the RNA-induced transcriptional silencing (RITS) complex via interacting with the complex. Furthermore, loss of Dri1 decreases the association of the Sir2 HDAC with heterochromatin. We further demonstrated that the C-terminus of Dri1 that includes an intrinsically disordered (IDR) region and three zinc fingers is crucial for its role in silencing. more » Together, our evidences suggest that Dri1 facilitates heterochromatin assembly via the RNAi pathway and HDAC. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Editors:
Freitag, M
Award ID(s):
1934628
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10267276
Journal Name:
Genetics
Volume:
218
Issue:
1
ISSN:
1943-2631
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are widely utilized for transcriptional repression in eukaryotes. Here, we characterize, in the protist Tetrahymena thermophila, the EZL1 (E(z)-like 1) complex, with components conserved in metazoan Polycomb Repressive Complexes 1 and 2 (PRC1 and PRC2). The EZL1 complex is required for histone H3 K27 and K9 methylation, heterochromatin formation, transposable element control, and programmed genome rearrangement. The EZL1 complex interacts with EMA1, a helicase required for RNA interference (RNAi). This interaction is implicated in co-transcriptional recruitment of the EZL1 complex. Binding of H3K27 and H3K9 methylation by PDD1—another PcG protein interacting with the EZL1 complex—reinforcesmore »its chromatin association. The EZL1 complex is an integral part of Polycomb bodies, which exhibit dynamic distribution in Tetrahymena development: Their dispersion is driven by chromatin association, while their coalescence by PDD1, likely via phase separation. Our results provide a molecular mechanism connecting RNAi and Polycomb repression, which coordinately regulate nuclear bodies and reorganize the genome.« less
  2. Heterochromatic domains are enriched with repressive histone marks, including histone H3 lysine 9 methylation, written by lysine methyltransferases (KMTs). The pre-replication complex protein, origin recognition complex-associated (ORCA/LRWD1), preferentially localizes to heterochromatic regions in post-replicated cells. Its role in heterochromatin organization remained elusive. ORCA recognizes methylated H3K9 marks and interacts with repressive KMTs, including G9a/GLP and Suv39H1 in a chromatin context-dependent manner. Single-molecule pull-down assays demonstrate that ORCA-ORC (Origin Recognition Complex) and multiple H3K9 KMTs exist in a single complex and that ORCA stabilizes H3K9 KMT complex. Cells lacking ORCA show alterations in chromatin architecture, with significantly reduced H3K9 di- andmore »tri-methylation at specific chromatin sites. Changes in heterochromatin structure due to loss of ORCA affect replication timing, preferentially at the late-replicating regions. We demonstrate that ORCA acts as a scaffold for the establishment of H3K9 KMT complex and its association and activity at specific chromatin sites is crucial for the organization of heterochromatin structure.

    « less
  3. Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins are part of an epigenetic cell memory system that plays essential roles in multicellular development, stem cell biology, X chromosome inactivation, and cancer. In animals, plants, and many fungi, Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) catalyzes trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) to assemble transcriptionally repressed facultative heterochromatin. PRC2 is structurally and functionally conserved in the model fungusNeurospora crassa, and recent work in this organism has generated insights into PRC2 control and function. To identify components of the facultative heterochromatin pathway, we performed a targeted screen ofNeurosporadeletion strains lacking individual ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. We foundmore »theNeurosporahomolog of IMITATION SWITCH (ISW) is critical for normal transcriptional repression, nucleosome organization, and establishment of typical histone methylation patterns in facultative heterochromatin domains. We also found that stable interaction between PRC2 and chromatin depends on ISW. A functional ISW ATPase domain is required for gene repression and normal H3K27 methylation. ISW homologs interact with accessory proteins to form multiple complexes with distinct functions. Using proteomics and molecular approaches, we identified three distinctNeurosporaISW-containing complexes. A triple mutant lacking three ISW accessory factors and disrupting multiple ISW complexes led to widespread up-regulation of PRC2 target genes and altered H3K27 methylation patterns, similar to an ISW-deficient strain. Taken together, our data show that ISW is a key component of the facultative heterochromatin pathway inNeurospora, and that distinct ISW complexes perform an apparently overlapping role to regulate chromatin structure and gene repression at PRC2 target domains.

    « less
  4. Heterochromatin exerts a heritable form of eukaryotic gene repression and contributes to chromosome segregation fidelity and genome stability. However, to date there has been no quantitative evaluation of the stability of heterochromatic gene repression. We designed a genetic strategy to capture transient losses of gene silencing in Saccharomyces as permanent, heritable changes in genotype and phenotype. This approach revealed rare transcription within heterochromatin that occurred in approximately 1/1000 cell divisions. In concordance with multiple lines of evidence suggesting these events were rare and transient, single-molecule RNA FISH showed that transcription was limited. The ability to monitor fluctuations in heterochromatic repressionmore »uncovered previously unappreciated roles for Sir1, a silencing establishment factor, in the maintenance and/or inheritance of silencing. In addition, we identified the sirtuin Hst3 and its histone target as contributors to the stability of the silenced state. These approaches revealed dynamics of a heterochromatin function that have been heretofore inaccessible.

    « less
  5. Abstract Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is a histone methyltransferase that methylates histone H3 at Lysine 27. PRC2 is critical for epigenetic gene silencing, cellular differentiation and the formation of facultative heterochromatin. It can also promote or inhibit oncogenesis. Despite this importance, the molecular mechanisms by which PRC2 compacts chromatin are relatively understudied. Here, we visualized the binding of PRC2 to naked DNA in liquid at the single-molecule level using atomic force microscopy. Analysis of the resulting images showed PRC2, consisting of five subunits (EZH2, EED, SUZ12, AEBP2 and RBBP4), bound to a 2.5-kb DNA with an apparent dissociation constant ($K_{\rm{D}}^{{\rm{app}}}$)more »of 150 ± 12 nM. PRC2 did not show sequence-specific binding to a region of high GC content (76%) derived from a CpG island embedded in such a long DNA substrate. At higher concentrations, PRC2 compacted DNA by forming DNA loops typically anchored by two or more PRC2 molecules. Additionally, PRC2 binding led to a 3-fold increase in the local bending of DNA’s helical backbone without evidence of DNA wrapping around the protein. We suggest that the bending and looping of DNA by PRC2, independent of PRC2’s methylation activity, may contribute to heterochromatin formation and therefore epigenetic gene silencing.« less