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Chromosome-wide nucleosome replacement and H3.3 incorporation during mammalian meiotic sex chromosome inactivation


van der Heijden, G W; Derijck, A H A A; Pósfai, E; Giele, M; Pelczar, P; Ramos, L; Wansink, D G; van der Vlag, J; Peters, A H F M; de Boer, P (2007). Chromosome-wide nucleosome replacement and H3.3 incorporation during mammalian meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Nature Genetics, 39(2):251-258.

Abstract

In mammalian males, the first meiotic prophase is characterized by formation of a separate chromatin domain called the sex body. In this domain, the X and Y chromosomes are partially synapsed and transcriptionally silenced, a process termed meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Likewise, unsynapsed autosomal chromatin present during pachytene is also silenced (meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin, MSUC). Although it is known that MSCI and MSUC are both dependent on histone H2A.X phosphorylation mediated by the kinase ATR, and cause repressive H3 Lys9 dimethylation, the mechanisms underlying silencing are largely unidentified. Here, we demonstrate an extensive replacement of nucleosomes within unsynapsed chromatin, depending on and initiated shortly after induction of MSCI and MSUC. Nucleosomal eviction results in the exclusive incorporation of the H3.3 variant, which to date has primarily been associated with transcriptional activity. Nucleosomal exchange causes loss and subsequent selective reacquisition of specific histone modifications. This process therefore provides a means for epigenetic reprogramming of sex chromatin presumably required for gene silencing in the male mammalian germ line.

Abstract

In mammalian males, the first meiotic prophase is characterized by formation of a separate chromatin domain called the sex body. In this domain, the X and Y chromosomes are partially synapsed and transcriptionally silenced, a process termed meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Likewise, unsynapsed autosomal chromatin present during pachytene is also silenced (meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin, MSUC). Although it is known that MSCI and MSUC are both dependent on histone H2A.X phosphorylation mediated by the kinase ATR, and cause repressive H3 Lys9 dimethylation, the mechanisms underlying silencing are largely unidentified. Here, we demonstrate an extensive replacement of nucleosomes within unsynapsed chromatin, depending on and initiated shortly after induction of MSCI and MSUC. Nucleosomal eviction results in the exclusive incorporation of the H3.3 variant, which to date has primarily been associated with transcriptional activity. Nucleosomal exchange causes loss and subsequent selective reacquisition of specific histone modifications. This process therefore provides a means for epigenetic reprogramming of sex chromatin presumably required for gene silencing in the male mammalian germ line.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Laboratory Animal Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:03 Mar 2010 12:57
Last Modified:20 Sep 2016 06:15
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1061-4036
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/ng1949
PubMed ID:17237782

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