Project description:BAF complexes are composed of different subunits with varying functional and developmental roles, although many subunits have not been examined in depth. Here we show that the Baf45 subunit Dpf2 maintains pluripotency and ESC differentiation potential. Dpf2 co-occupies enhancers with Oct4, Sox2, p300, and the BAF subunit Brg1, and deleting Dpf2 perturbs ESC self-renewal, induces repression of Tbx3, and impairs mesendodermal differentiation without dramatically altering Brg1 localization. Mesendodermal differentiation can be rescued by restoring Tbx3 expression, whose distal enhancer is positively regulated by Dpf2-dependent H3K27ac maintenance and recruitment of pluripotency TFs and Brg1. In contrast, the PRC2 subunit Eed binds an intragenic Tbx3 enhancer to oppose Dpf2-dependent Tbx3 expression and mesendodermal differentiation. The PRC2 subunit Ezh2 likewise opposes Dpf2-dependent differentiation through a distinct mechanism involving Nanog repression. Together, these findings delineate distinct mechanistic roles for specific BAF and PRC2 subunits during ESC differentiation.
Project description:Double plant homeodomain finger 2 (DPF2) is a highly evolutionarily conserved member of the d4 protein family that is ubiquitously expressed in human tissues and was recently shown to inhibit the myeloid differentiation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor and acute myelogenous leukemia cells. Here, we present the crystal structure of the tandem plant homeodomain finger domain of human DPF2 at 1.6-Å resolution. We show that DPF2 interacts with the acetylated tails of both histones 3 and 4 via bipartite binding pockets on the DPF2 surface. Blocking these interactions through targeted mutagenesis of DPF2 abolishes its recruitment to target chromatin regions as well as its ability to prevent myeloid differentiation in vivo. Our findings suggest that the histone binding of DPF2 plays an important regulatory role in the transcriptional program that drives myeloid differentiation.
Project description:Variants affecting the function of different subunits of the BAF chromatin-remodelling complex lead to various neurodevelopmental syndromes, including Coffin-Siris syndrome. Furthermore, variants in proteins containing PHD fingers, motifs recognizing specific histone tail modifications, have been associated with several neurological and developmental-delay disorders. Here, we report eight heterozygous de novo variants (one frameshift, two splice site, and five missense) in the gene encoding the BAF complex subunit double plant homeodomain finger 2 (DPF2). Affected individuals share common clinical features described in individuals with Coffin-Siris syndrome, including coarse facial features, global developmental delay, intellectual disability, speech impairment, and hypoplasia of fingernails and toenails. All variants occur within the highly conserved PHD1 and PHD2 motifs. Moreover, missense variants are situated close to zinc binding sites and are predicted to disrupt these sites. Pull-down assays of recombinant proteins and histone peptides revealed that a subset of the identified missense variants abolish or impaire DPF2 binding to unmodified and modified H3 histone tails. These results suggest an impairment of PHD finger structural integrity and cohesion and most likely an aberrant recognition of histone modifications. Furthermore, the overexpression of these variants in HEK293 and COS7 cell lines was associated with the formation of nuclear aggregates and the recruitment of both wild-type DPF2 and BRG1 to these aggregates. Expression analysis of truncating variants found in the affected individuals indicated that the aberrant transcripts escape nonsense-mediated decay. Altogether, we provide compelling evidence that de novo variants in DPF2 cause Coffin-Siris syndrome and propose a dominant-negative mechanism of pathogenicity.
Project description:Eed (embryonic ectoderm development) is a core component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) which catalyzes the methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27). Trimethylated H3K27 (H3K27me3) can act as a signal for PRC1 recruitment in the process of gene silencing and chromatin condensation. Previous studies with Eed KO ESCs revealed a failure to down-regulate a limited list of pluripotency factors in differentiating ESCs. Our aim was to analyze the consequences of Eed KO for ESC differentiation. To this end we first analyzed ESC differentiation in the absence of Eed and employed in silico data to assess pluripotency gene expression and H3K27me3 patterns. We linked these data to expression analyses of wildtype and Eed KO ESCs. We observed that in wildtype ESCs a subset of pluripotency genes including Oct4, Nanog, Sox2 and Oct4 target genes progressively gain H3K27me3 during differentiation. These genes remain expressed in differentiating Eed KO ESCs. This suggests that the deregulation of a limited set of pluripotency factors impedes ESC differentiation. Global analyses of H3K27me3 and Oct4 ChIP-seq data indicate that in ESCs the binding of Oct4 to promoter regions is not a general predictor for PRC2-mediated silencing during differentiation. However, motif analyses suggest a binding of Oct4 together with Sox2 and Nanog at promoters of genes that are PRC2-dependently silenced during differentiation. In summary, our data further characterize Eed function in ESCs by showing that Eed/PRC2 is essential for the onset of ESC differentiation. RNAs obtained from undifferentiated (d0) wild type and Eed KO ESCs and from day 3 (d3) and day 7 (d7) respective Ebs were subjected to Affymetrix Mouse Gene 1.0 ST Array. 24 samples in total.
Project description:Recognition of histone covalent modifications by 'reader' modules constitutes a major mechanism for epigenetic regulation. A recent upsurge of newly discovered histone lysine acylations, such as crotonylation (Kcr), butyrylation (Kbu), and propionylation (Kpr), greatly expands the coding potential of histone lysine modifications. Here we demonstrate that the histone acetylation-binding double PHD finger (DPF) domains of human MOZ (also known as KAT6A) and DPF2 (also known as BAF45d) accommodate a wide range of histone lysine acylations with the strongest preference for Kcr. Crystal structures of the DPF domain of MOZ in complex with H3K14cr, H3K14bu, and H3K14pr peptides reveal that these non-acetyl acylations are anchored in a hydrophobic 'dead-end' pocket with selectivity for crotonylation arising from intimate encapsulation and an amide-sensing hydrogen bonding network. Immunofluorescence and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-quantitative PCR (qPCR) showed that MOZ and H3K14cr colocalize in a DPF-dependent manner. Our studies call attention to a new regulatory mechanism centered on histone crotonylation readout by DPF family members.
Project description:Dpf2 is a subunit of the BAF/pBAF chromatin remodelling complex. We have used cross-linking affinity purification-mass spectrometry to explore Dpf2 protein interactions in mouse embryonic stem cells.
Project description:Alterations in chromatin structure caused by deregulated epigenetic mechanisms collaborate with underlying genetic lesions to promote cancer. SMARCA4/BRG1, a core component of the SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling complex, has been implicated by its mutational spectrum as exerting a tumour-suppressor function in many solid tumours; recently however, it has been reported to sustain leukaemogenic transformation in MLL-rearranged leukaemia in mice. Here we further explore the role of SMARCA4 and the two SWI/SNF subunits SMARCD2/BAF60B and DPF2/BAF45D in leukaemia. We observed the selective requirement for these proteins for leukaemic cell expansion and self-renewal in-vitro as well as in leukaemia. Gene expression profiling in human cells of each of these three factors suggests that they have overlapping functions in leukaemia. The gene expression changes induced by loss of the three proteins demonstrate that they are required for the expression of haematopoietic stem cell associated genes but in contrast to previous results obtained in mouse cells, the three proteins are not required for the expression of c-MYC regulated genes.
Project description:Combinatorial transcription codes generate the myriad of cell types during development, and thus likely provide crucial insights into directed differentiation of stem cells to a specific cell type. The LIM-complex composed of Isl1 and Lhx3 directs the specification of spinal motor neurons (MNs) in embryos. Here, we report that Isl1-Lhx3, a LIMcomplex-mimicking fusion, induces a signature of MN transcriptome and concomitantly suppresses interneuron differentiation programs, thereby serving as a potent and specific inducer of MNs in stem cells. We show that an equimolar ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM-domain of Lhx3 are crucial for generating MNs without upregulating interneuron genes. These led us to design Isl1-Lhx3, which maintains the desirable 1:1 ratio of Isl1 and Lhx3 and the LIM-domain of Lhx3. Isl1-Lhx3 drives MN differentiation with high specificity and efficiency in the spinal cord and embryonic stem cells, bypassing the need for sonic hedgehog. RNA-seq analysis revealed that Isl1-Lhx3 induces the expression of a battery of MN genes that control various functional aspects of MNs, while suppressing key interneuron genes. Our studies uncover a highly efficient method for directed MN generation and MN gene networks. Our results also demonstrate a general strategy of utilizing embryonic transcription complexes for producing specific cell types from stem cells. Examine the RNA expression profiles of inducible motor neurons-embryonic stem cells (iMN-ESCs) with or without Dox treatment, with biological duplicates.