In Caenorhabditis elegans, mutations in WDR-5 and other components of the COMPASS H3K4 methyltransferase complex extend lifespan and enable its inheritance. Here we show that wdr-5 mutant longevity is itself a transgenerational trait that corresponds with a global enrichment of the heterochromatin factor H3K9me2 over twenty generations. In addition, we find that the transgenerational aspects of wdr-5 mutant longevity require the H3K9me2 methyltransferase MET-2, and can be recapitulated by removal of the putative H3K9me2 demethylase JHDM-1. Finally, we show that the transgenerational acquisition of longevity in jhdm-1 mutants is associated with accumulating genomic H3K9me2 that is inherited by their long-lived wild-type descendants at a subset of loci. These results suggest that heterochromatin facilitates the transgenerational establishment and inheritance of a complex trait. Based on these results, we propose that transcription-coupled H3K4me via COMPASS limits lifespan by encroaching upon domains of heterochromatin in the genome.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GEO under accession code GSE129928.
H3K9me2 protects lifespan against the transgenerational burden of germline transcription in C. elegansNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE129928.
- Teresa W Lee
- Brandon Scott Carpenter
- David John Katz
- Amanda Kathryn Engstrom
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Matt Kaeberlein, University of Washington, United States
© 2019, Lee et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Auxin-inducible degrons are a chemical genetic tool for targeted protein degradation and are widely used to study protein function in cultured mammalian cells. Here we develop CRISPR-engineered mouse lines that enable rapid and highly specific degradation of tagged endogenous proteins in vivo. Most but not all cell types are competent for degradation. By combining ligand titrations with genetic crosses to generate animals with different allelic combinations, we show that degradation kinetics depend upon the dose of the tagged protein, ligand, and the E3 ligase substrate receptor TIR1. Rapid degradation of condensin I and condensin II - two essential regulators of mitotic chromosome structure - revealed that both complexes are individually required for cell division in precursor lymphocytes, but not in their differentiated peripheral lymphocyte derivatives. This generalisable approach provides unprecedented temporal control over the dose of endogenous proteins in mouse models, with implications for studying essential biological pathways and modelling drug activity in mammalian tissues.
CRISPR technology has made generation of gene knock-outs widely achievable in cells. However, once inactivated, their re-activation remains difficult, especially in diploid cells. Here, we present DExCon (Doxycycline-mediated endogenous gene Expression Control), DExogron (DExCon combined with auxin-mediated targeted protein degradation), and LUXon (light responsive DExCon) approaches which combine one-step CRISPR-Cas9-mediated targeted knockin of fluorescent proteins with an advanced Tet-inducible TRE3GS promoter. These approaches combine blockade of active gene expression with the ability to re-activate expression on demand, including activation of silenced genes. Systematic control can be exerted using doxycycline or spatiotemporally by light, and we demonstrate functional knock-out/rescue in the closely related Rab11 family of vesicle trafficking regulators. Fluorescent protein knock-in results in bright signals compatible with low-light live microscopy from monoallelic modification, the potential to simultaneously image different alleles of the same gene, and bypasses the need to work with clones. Protein levels are easily tunable to correspond with endogenous expression through cell sorting (DExCon), timing of light illumination (LUXon), or by exposing cells to different levels of auxin (DExogron). Furthermore, our approach allowed us to quantify previously unforeseen differences in vesicle dynamics, transferrin receptor recycling, expression kinetics, and protein stability among highly similar endogenous Rab11 family members and their colocalization in triple knock-in ovarian cancer cell lines.