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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
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  3. Chromatin structure is critical for gene expression and many other cellular processes. In Arabidopsis thaliana , the floral repressor FLC adopts a self-loop chromatin structure via bridging of its flanking regions. This local gene loop is necessary for active FLC expression. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the formation of this class of gene loops is unknown. Here, we report the characterization of a group of linker histone-like proteins, named the GH1-HMGA family in Arabidopsis , which act as chromatin architecture modulators. We demonstrate that these family members redundantly promote the floral transition through the repression of FLC . A genome-widemore »study revealed that this family preferentially binds to the 5′ and 3′ ends of gene bodies. The loss of this binding increases FLC expression by stabilizing the FLC 5′ to 3′ gene looping. Our study provides mechanistic insights into how a family of evolutionarily conserved proteins regulates the formation of local gene loops.« less
  4. The long noncoding RNA COLDAIR is necessary for the repression of a floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) during vernalization in Arabidopsis thaliana. The repression of FLC is mediated by increased enrichment of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) and subsequent trimethylation of Histone H3 Lysine 27 (H3K27me3) at FLC chromatin. In this study we found that the association of COLDAIR with chromatin occurs only at the FLC locus and that the central region of the COLDAIR transcript is critical for this interaction. A modular motif in COLDAIR is responsible for the association with PRC2 in vitro, and the mutations withinmore »the motif that reduced the association of COLDAIR with PRC2 resulted in vernalization insensitivity. The vernalization insensitivity caused by mutant COLDAIR was rescued by the ectopic expression of the wild-type COLDAIR. Our study reveals the molecular framework in which COLDAIR lncRNA mediates the PRC2-mediated repression of FLC during vernalization.« less