CpG islands are gene regulatory elements associated with the majority of mammalian promoters, yet how they regulate gene expression remains poorly understood. Here, we identify FBXL19 as a CpG island-binding protein in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that it associates with the CDK-Mediator complex. We discover that FBXL19 recruits CDK-Mediator to CpG island-associated promoters of non-transcribed developmental genes to prime these genes for activation during cell lineage commitment. We further show that recognition of CpG islands by FBXL19 is essential for mouse development. Together this reveals a new CpG island-centric mechanism for CDK-Mediator recruitment to developmental gene promoters in ES cells and a requirement for CDK-Mediator in priming these developmental genes for activation during cell lineage commitment.
Sequencing data generated in this study have been deposited in GEO under accession code GSE98756
- Robert J Klose
- Robert J Klose
- Robert J Klose
- Haruhiko Koseki
- Angelika Feldmann
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Joaquín M Espinosa, University of Colorado School of Medicine, United States
© 2018, Dimitrova et al.
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Mitotically stable random monoallelic gene expression (RME) is documented for a small percentage of autosomal genes. We developed an in vivo genetic model to study the role of enhancers in RME using high-resolution single-cell analysis of natural killer (NK) cell receptor gene expression and enhancer deletions in the mouse germline. Enhancers of the RME NK receptor genes were accessible and enriched in H3K27ac on silent and active alleles alike in cells sorted according to allelic expression status, suggesting enhancer activation and gene expression status can be decoupled. In genes with multiple enhancers, enhancer deletion reduced gene expression frequency, in one instance converting the universally expressed gene encoding NKG2D into an RME gene, recapitulating all aspects of natural RME including mitotic stability of both the active and silent states. The results support the binary model of enhancer action, and suggest that RME is a consequence of general properties of gene regulation by enhancers rather than an RME-specific epigenetic program. Therefore, many and perhaps all genes may be subject to some degree of RME. Surprisingly, this was borne out by analysis of several genes that define different major hematopoietic lineages, that were previously thought to be universally expressed within those lineages: the genes encoding NKG2D, CD45, CD8α, and Thy-1. We propose that intrinsically probabilistic gene allele regulation is a general property of enhancer-controlled gene expression, with previously documented RME representing an extreme on a broad continuum.
For some inducible genes, the rate and molecular mechanism of transcriptional activation depend on the prior experiences of the cell. This phenomenon, called epigenetic transcriptional memory, accelerates reactivation, and requires both changes in chromatin structure and recruitment of poised RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) to the promoter. Memory of inositol starvation in budding yeast involves a positive feedback loop between transcription factor-dependent interaction with the nuclear pore complex and histone H3 lysine 4 dimethylation (H3K4me2). While H3K4me2 is essential for recruitment of RNAPII and faster reactivation, RNAPII is not required for H3K4me2. Unlike RNAPII-dependent H3K4me2 associated with transcription, RNAPII-independent H3K4me2 requires Nup100, SET3C, the Leo1 subunit of the Paf1 complex and, upon degradation of an essential transcription factor, is inherited through multiple cell cycles. The writer of this mark (COMPASS) physically interacts with the potential reader (SET3C), suggesting a molecular mechanism for the spreading and re-incorporation of H3K4me2 following DNA replication.