IDN1 and IDN2 are required for de novo DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is an epigenetic mark affecting genes and transposons. Screening for mutants that fail to establish DNA methylation yielded two we termed "involved in de novo" (idn) 1 and 2. IDN1 encodes DMS3, an SMC-related protein, and IDN2 encodes a previously unknown double-stranded RNA-binding protein with homology to SGS3. IDN1 and IDN2 control de novo methylation and small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated maintenance methylation and are components of the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway.
Project description:Plant specific SGS3-like proteins are composed of various combinations of an RNA-binding XS domain, a zinc-finger zf-XS domain, a coil-coil domain and a domain of unknown function called XH. In addition to being involved in de novo 2 (IDN2) and SGS3, the Arabidopsis genome encodes 12 uncharacterized SGS3-like proteins. Here, we show that a group of SGS3-like proteins act redundantly in RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway in Arabidopsis. Transcriptome co-expression analyses reveal significantly correlated expression of two SGS3-like proteins, factor of DNA methylation 1 (FDM1) and FDM2 with known genes required for RdDM. The fdm1 and fdm2 double mutations but not the fdm1 or fdm2 single mutations significantly impair DNA methylation at RdDM loci, release transcriptional gene silencing and dramatically reduce the abundance of siRNAs originated from high copy number repeats or transposons. Like IDN2 and SGS3, FDM1 binds dsRNAs with 5' overhangs. Double mutant analyses also reveal that IDN2 and three uncharacterized SGS3-like proteins FDM3, FDM4 and FDM5 have overlapping function with FDM1 in RdDM. Five FDM proteins and IDN2 define a group of SGS3-like proteins that possess all four-signature motifs in Arabidopsis. Thus, our results demonstrate that this group of SGS3-like proteins is an important component of RdDM. This study further enhances our understanding of the SGS3 gene family and the RdDM pathway.
Project description:At least three pathways control maintenance of DNA cytosine methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway is solely responsible for establishment of this silencing mark. We previously described INVOLVED IN DE NOVO 2 (IDN2) as being an RNA-binding RdDM component that is required for DNA methylation establishment. In this study, we describe the discovery of two partially redundant proteins that are paralogous to IDN2 and that form a stable complex with IDN2 in vivo. Null mutations in both genes, termed IDN2-LIKE 1 and IDN2-LIKE 2 (IDNL1 and IDNL2), result in a phenotype that mirrors, but does not further enhance, the idn2 mutant phenotype. Genetic analysis suggests that this complex acts in a step in the downstream portion of the RdDM pathway. We also have performed structural analysis showing that the IDN2 XS domain adopts an RNA recognition motif (RRM) fold. Finally, genome-wide DNA methylation and expression analysis confirms the placement of the IDN proteins in an RdDM pathway that affects DNA methylation and transcriptional control at many sites in the genome. Results from this study identify and describe two unique components of the RdDM machinery, adding to our understanding of DNA methylation control in the Arabidopsis genome.
Project description:Ribonucleic acid-mediated transcriptional gene silencing (known as RNA-directed DNA methylation, or RdDM, in Arabidopsis thaliana) is important for influencing gene expression and the inhibition of transposons by the deposition of repressive chromatin marks such as histone modifications and DNA methylation. A key event in de novo methylation of DNA by RdDM is the production of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) by RNA polymerase V (Pol V). Little is known about the events that connect Pol V transcription to the establishment of repressive chromatin modifications. Using RNA immunoprecipitation, we elucidated the order of events downstream of lncRNA production and discovered interdependency between lncRNA-associated proteins. We found that the effector protein ARGONAUTE4 (AGO4) binds lncRNA independent of the RNA-binding protein INVOLVED IN DE NOVO2 (IDN2). In contrast, IDN2 binds lncRNA in an AGO4-dependent manner. We further found that the de novo DNA methyltransferase DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE2 (DRM2) also associates with lncRNA produced by Pol V and that this event depends on AGO4 and IDN2. We propose a model where the silencing proteins AGO4, IDN2 and DRM2 bind to lncRNA in a stepwise manner, resulting in DNA methylation of RdDM target loci.
Project description:In plants, a particular class of short interfering (si)RNAs can serve as a signal to induce cytosine methylation at homologous genomic regions. If the targeted DNA has promoter function, this RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) can result in transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). RNA-directed transcriptional gene silencing (RdTGS) of transgenes provides a versatile system for the study of epigenetic gene regulation. We used transcription of a nopaline synthase promoter (ProNOS)-inverted repeat (IR) to provide a RNA signal that triggers de novo cytosine methylation and TGS of a homologous ProNOS copy in trans. Utilizing a ProNOS-NPTII reporter gene showing high sensitivity to silencing in this two component system, a forward genetic screen for EMS-induced no rna-directed transcriptional silencing (nrd) mutations was performed in Arabidopsis thaliana. Three nrd mutant lines were found to contain one novel loss-of-function allele of idn2/rdm12 and two of nrpd2a/nrpe2a. IDN2/RDM12 encodes a XH/XS domain protein that is able to bind double-stranded RNA with 5' overhangs, while NRPD2a/NRPE2a encodes the common second-largest subunit of the plant specific DNA-dependent RNA polymerases IV and V involved in silencing processes. Both idn2/rdm12 and nrpd2a/nrpe2a release target transgene expression and reduce CHH context methylation at transgenic as well as endogenous RdDM target regions to similar extents. Nevertheless, accumulation of IR-derived siRNA is not affected, allowing us to present a refined model for the pathway of RdDM and RdTGS that positions function of IDN2 downstream of siRNA formation and points to an important role for its XH domain.
Project description:IDN2/RDM12 has been previously identified as a component of the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) machinery in Arabidopsis thaliana, but how it functions in RdDM remains unknown. By affinity purification of IDN2, we co-purified two IDN2 paralogs IDP1 and IDP2 (IDN2 PARALOG 1 and 2). The coiled-coil domain between the XS and XH domains of IDN2 is essential for IDN2 homodimerization, whereas the IDN2 C-terminal XH domain but not the coiled-coil domain is required for IDN2 interaction with IDP1 and IDP2. By introducing the wild-type IDN2 sequence and its mutated derivatives into the idn2 mutant for complementation testing, we demonstrated that the previously uncharacterized IDN2 XH domain is required for the IDN2-IDP1/IDP2 complex formation as well as for IDN2 function. IDP1 is required for de novo DNA methylation, siRNA accumulation, and transcriptional gene silencing, whereas IDP2 has partially overlapping roles with IDP1. Unlike IDN2, IDP1 and IDP2 are incapable of binding double-stranded RNA, suggesting that the roles of IDP1 and IDP2 are different from those of IDN2 in the IDN2-IDP1/IDP2 complex and that IDP1 and IDP2 are essential for the functioning of the complex in RdDM.
Project description:RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is essential for de novo DNA methylation in higher plants, and recent reports established novel elements of this silencing pathway in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. Involved in de novo DNA methylation 2 (IDN2) and the closely related factor of DNA methylation (FDM) are members of a plant-specific family of dsRNA-binding proteins characterized by conserved XH/XS domains and implicated in the regulation of RdDM at chromatin targets. Genetic analyses have suggested redundant as well as non-overlapping activities for different members of the gene family. However, detailed insights into the function of XH/XS-domain proteins are still elusive. By the generation and analysis of higher-order mutant combinations affected in IDN2 and further members of the gene family, we have provided additional evidence for their redundant activity. Distinct roles for members of the XH/XS-domain gene family were indicated by differences in their expression and subcellular localization. Fluorescent protein-tagged FDM genes were expressed either in nuclei or in the cytoplasm, suggestive of activities of XH/XS-domain proteins in association with chromatin as well as outside the nuclear compartment. In addition, we observed altered location of a functional FDM1-VENUS reporter from the nucleus into the cytoplasm under conditions when availability of further FDM proteins was limited. This is suggestive of a mechanism by which redistribution of XH/XS-domain proteins could compensate for the loss of closely related proteins.
Project description:During RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM), the DDR complex, composed of DRD1, DMS3, and RDM1, is responsible for recruiting DNA polymerase V (Pol V) to silence transposable elements (TEs) in plants. However, how the DDR complex is regulated remains unexplored. Here, we show that the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) regulates the assembly of the DDR complex by targeting DMS3 for degradation. We found that a substantial set of RdDM loci was commonly de-repressed in apc/c and pol v mutants, and that the defects in RdDM activity resulted from up-regulated DMS3 protein levels, which finally caused reduced Pol V recruitment. DMS3 was ubiquitinated by APC/C for degradation in a D box-dependent manner. Competitive binding assays and gel filtration analyses showed that a proper level of DMS3 is critical for the assembly of the DDR complex. Consistent with the importance of the level of DMS3, overaccumulation of DMS3 caused defective RdDM activity, phenocopying the apc/c and dms3 mutants. Moreover, DMS3 is expressed in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Collectively, these findings provide direct evidence as to how the assembly of the DDR complex is regulated and uncover a safeguarding role of APC/C in the regulation of RdDM activity.
Project description:The protein IDN2, together with the highly similar interactors FDM1 and FDM2, is required for RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and siRNA production. Epigenetic regulation of gene expression is required to restrict cell fate determination in A. thaliana ovules. Recently, three transcripts sharing high similarity with the A. thaliana IDN2 and FDM1-2 were found to be differentially expressed in ovules of apomictic Hypericum perforatum L. accessions. To gain further insight into the expression and regulation of these genes in the context of apomixis, we investigated genomic, transcriptional and functional aspects of the gene family in this species. The H. perforatum genome encodes for two IDN2-like and 7 FDM-like genes. Differential and heterochronic expression of FDM4-like genes was found in H. perforatum pistils. The involvement of these genes in reproduction and seed development is consistent with the observed reduction of the seed set and high variability in seed size in A. thaliana IDN2 and FDM-like knockout lines. Differential expression of IDN2-like and FDM-like genes in H. perforatum was predicted to affect the network of potential interactions between these proteins. Furthermore, pistil transcript levels are modulated by cytokinin and auxin but the effect operated by the two hormones depends on the reproductive phenotype.
Project description:DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana is maintained by at least four different enzymes: DNA methyltransferase1 (MET1), chromomethylase3 (CMT3), domains rearranged methyltransferase2 (DRM2), and chromomethylase2 (CMT2). However, DNA methylation is established exclusively by the enzyme DRM2, which acts in the RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway. Some RdDM components belong to gene families and have partially redundant functions, such as the endoribonucleases dicer-like 2, 3, and 4, and involved in de novo2 (IDN2) interactors IDN2-like 1 and 2. Traditional mutagenesis screens usually fail to detect genes if they are redundant, as the loss of one gene can be compensated by a related gene. In an effort to circumvent this issue, we used coexpression data to identify closely related genes that are coregulated with genes in the RdDM pathway. Here we report the discovery of two redundant proteins, SNF2-ring-helicase-like1 and -2 (FRG1 and -2) that are putative chromatin modifiers belonging to the SNF2 family of helicase-like proteins. Analysis of genome-wide bisulfite sequencing shows that simultaneous mutations of FRG1 and -2 cause defects in methylation at specific RdDM targeted loci. We also show that FRG1 physically associates with Su(var)3-9-related SUVR2, a known RdDM component, in vivo. Combined, our results identify FRG1 and FRG2 as previously unidentified components of the RdDM machinery.
Project description:The RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway can be divided into three phases: 1) small interfering RNA biogenesis, 2) de novo methylation, and 3) chromatin modification. To determine the degree of conservation of this pathway we searched for key genes among land plants. We used OrthoMCL and the OrthoMCL Viridiplantae database to analyze proteomes of species in bryophytes, lycophytes, monilophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. We also analyzed small RNA size categories and, in two gymnosperms, cytosine methylation in ribosomal DNA. Six proteins were restricted to angiosperms, these being NRPD4/NRPE4, RDM1, DMS3 (defective in meristem silencing 3), SHH1 (SAWADEE homeodomain homolog 1), KTF1, and SUVR2, although we failed to find the latter three proteins in Fritillaria persica, a species with a giant genome. Small RNAs of 24 nt in length were abundant only in angiosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of Dicer-like (DCL) proteins showed that DCL2 was restricted to seed plants, although it was absent in Gnetum gnemon and Welwitschia mirabilis. The data suggest that phases (1) and (2) of the RdDM pathway, described for model angiosperms, evolved with angiosperms. The absence of some features of RdDM in F. persica may be associated with its large genome. Phase (3) is probably the most conserved part of the pathway across land plants. DCL2, involved in virus defense and interaction with the canonical RdDM pathway to facilitate methylation of CHH, is absent outside seed plants. Its absence in G. gnemon, and W. mirabilis coupled with distinctive patterns of CHH methylation, suggest a secondary loss of DCL2 following the divergence of Gnetales.