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DDT-RELATED PROTEIN4-IMITATION SWITCH alters nucleosome distribution to relieve transcriptional silencing in Arabidopsis


Zhang, Qiyan; Wang, Zejia; Lu, Xinyue; Yan, Huiru; Zhang, Huawei; He, Hang; Bischof, Sylvain; Harris, C Jake; Liu, Qikun (2023). DDT-RELATED PROTEIN4-IMITATION SWITCH alters nucleosome distribution to relieve transcriptional silencing in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 35(8):3109-3126.

Abstract

DNA methylation is a conserved epigenetic modification that is typically associated with silencing of transposable elements and promoter methylated genes. However, some DNA-methylated loci are protected from silencing, allowing transcriptional flexibility in response to environmental and developmental cues. Through a genetic screen in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), we uncovered an antagonistic relationship between the MICRORCHIDIA (MORC) protein and the IMITATION SWITCH (ISWI) complex in regulating the DNA-methylated SUPPRESSOR OF DRM1 DRM2 CMT3 (SDC) reporter. We demonstrate that components of the plant-specific ISWI complex, including CHROMATIN REMODELING PROTEIN11 (CHR11), CHR17, DDT-RELATED PROTEIN4 (DDR4), and DDR5, function to partially de-repress silenced genes and transposable elements (TEs), through their function in regulating nucleosome distribution. This action also requires the known transcriptional activator DNAJ proteins, providing a mechanistic link between nucleosome remodeling and transcriptional activation. Genome-wide studies revealed that DDR4 causes changes in nucleosome distribution at numerous loci, a subset of which is associated with changes in DNA methylation and/or transcription. Our work reveals a mechanism for balancing transcriptional flexibility and faithful silencing of DNA-methylated loci. As both ISWI and MORC family genes are widely distributed across plant and animal species, our findings may represent a conserved eukaryotic mechanism for fine-tuning gene expression under epigenetic regulation.

Abstract

DNA methylation is a conserved epigenetic modification that is typically associated with silencing of transposable elements and promoter methylated genes. However, some DNA-methylated loci are protected from silencing, allowing transcriptional flexibility in response to environmental and developmental cues. Through a genetic screen in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), we uncovered an antagonistic relationship between the MICRORCHIDIA (MORC) protein and the IMITATION SWITCH (ISWI) complex in regulating the DNA-methylated SUPPRESSOR OF DRM1 DRM2 CMT3 (SDC) reporter. We demonstrate that components of the plant-specific ISWI complex, including CHROMATIN REMODELING PROTEIN11 (CHR11), CHR17, DDT-RELATED PROTEIN4 (DDR4), and DDR5, function to partially de-repress silenced genes and transposable elements (TEs), through their function in regulating nucleosome distribution. This action also requires the known transcriptional activator DNAJ proteins, providing a mechanistic link between nucleosome remodeling and transcriptional activation. Genome-wide studies revealed that DDR4 causes changes in nucleosome distribution at numerous loci, a subset of which is associated with changes in DNA methylation and/or transcription. Our work reveals a mechanism for balancing transcriptional flexibility and faithful silencing of DNA-methylated loci. As both ISWI and MORC family genes are widely distributed across plant and animal species, our findings may represent a conserved eukaryotic mechanism for fine-tuning gene expression under epigenetic regulation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2 August 2023
Deposited On:28 Jun 2023 09:29
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 03:44
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists
ISSN:1040-4651
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koad143
PubMed ID:37208763
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)