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Histone variants H2A.Z and H3.3 coordinately regulate PRC2-dependent H3K27me3 deposition and gene expression regulation in mES cells

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The hierarchical organization of eukaryotic chromatin plays a central role in gene regulation, by controlling the extent to which the transcription machinery can access DNA. The histone variants H3.3 and H2A.Z have recently been identified as key regulatory players in this process, but the underlying molecular mechanisms by which they permit or restrict gene expression remain unclear. Here, we investigated the regulatory function of H3.3 and H2A.Z on chromatin dynamics and Polycomb-mediated gene silencing. RESULTS: Our ChIP-seq analysis reveals that in mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells, H3K27me3 enrichment correlates strongly with H2A.Z. We further demonstrate that H2A.Z promotes PRC2 activity on H3K27 methylation through facilitating chromatin compaction both in vitro and in mES cells. In contrast, PRC2 activity is counteracted by H3.3 through impairing chromatin compaction. However, a subset of H3.3 may positively regulate PRC2-dependent H3K27 methylation via coordinating depositions of H2A.Z to developmental and signaling genes in mES cells. Using all-trans retinoic acid (tRA)-induced gene as a model, we show that the dynamic deposition of H2A.Z and H3.3 coordinately regulates the PRC2-dependent H3K27 methylation by modulating local chromatin structure at the promoter region during the process of turning genes off. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides key insights into the mechanism of how histone variants H3.3 and H2A.Z function coordinately to finely tune the PRC2 enzymatic activity during gene silencing, through promoting or impairing chromosome compaction respectively.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02442206
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Yan Wang, Haizhen Long, Juan Yu, Liping Dong, Michel Wassef, et al.. Histone variants H2A.Z and H3.3 coordinately regulate PRC2-dependent H3K27me3 deposition and gene expression regulation in mES cells. BMC Biology, BioMed Central, 2018, 16 (1), pp.107. ⟨10.1186/s12915-018-0568-6⟩. ⟨inserm-02442206⟩

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