CTCF-dependent chromatin bias constitutes transient epigenetic memory of the mother at the H19-Igf2 imprinting control region in prospermatogonia.
ABSTRACT: Genomic imprints-parental allele-specific DNA methylation marks at the differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted genes-are erased and reestablished in germ cells according to the individual's sex. Imprint establishment at paternally methylated germ line DMRs occurs in fetal male germ cells. In prospermatogonia, the two unmethylated alleles exhibit different rates of de novo methylation at the H19/Igf2 imprinting control region (ICR) depending on parental origin. We investigated the nature of this epigenetic memory using bisulfite sequencing and allele-specific ChIP-SNuPE assays. We found that the chromatin composition in fetal germ cells was biased at the ICR between the two alleles with the maternally inherited allele exhibiting more H3K4me3 and less H3K9me3 than the paternally inherited allele. We determined genetically that the chromatin bias, and also the delayed methylation establishment in the maternal allele, depended on functional CTCF insulator binding sites in the ICR. Our data suggest that, in primordial germ cells, maternally inherited allele-specific CTCF binding sets up allele-specific chromatin differences at the ICR. The erasure of these allele-specific chromatin marks is not complete before the process of de novo methylation imprint establishment begins. CTCF-dependent allele-specific chromatin composition imposes a maternal allele-specific delay on de novo methylation imprint establishment at the H19/Igf2 ICR in prospermatogonia.
Project description:The H19/Igf2 imprinting control region (ICR) functions as an insulator exclusively in the unmethylated maternal allele, where enhancer-blocking by CTCF protein prevents the interaction between the Igf2 promoter and the distant enhancers. DNA methylation inhibits CTCF binding in the paternal ICR allele. Two copies of the chicken ?-globin insulator (Ch?GI)(2) are capable of substituting for the enhancer blocking function of the ICR. Insulation, however, now also occurs upon paternal inheritance, because unlike the H19 ICR, the (Ch?GI)(2) does not become methylated in fetal male germ cells. The (Ch?GI)(2) is a composite insulator, exhibiting enhancer blocking by CTCF and chromatin barrier functions by USF1 and VEZF1. We asked the question whether these barrier proteins protected the (Ch?GI)(2) sequences from methylation in the male germ line.We genetically dissected the Ch?GI in the mouse by deleting the binding sites USF1 and VEZF1. The methylation of the mutant versus normal (Ch?GI)(2) significantly increased from 11% to 32% in perinatal male germ cells, suggesting that the barrier proteins did have a role in protecting the (Ch?GI)(2) from methylation in the male germ line. Contrary to the H19 ICR, however, the mutant (mCh?GI)(2) lacked the potential to attain full de novo methylation in the germ line and to maintain methylation in the paternal allele in the soma, where it consequently functioned as a biallelic insulator. Unexpectedly, a stricter enhancer blocking was achieved by CTCF alone than by a combination of the CTCF, USF1 and VEZF1 sites, illustrated by undetectable Igf2 expression upon paternal transmission.In this in vivo model, hypomethylation at the ICR position together with fetal growth retardation mimicked the human Silver-Russell syndrome. Importantly, late fetal/perinatal death occurred arguing that strict biallelic insulation at the H19/Igf2 ICR position is not tolerated in development.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is governed by allele-specific DNA methylation at imprinting control regions (ICRs), and the mechanism controlling its differential methylation establishment during gametogenesis has been a subject of intensive research interest. However, recent studies have reported that gamete methylation is not restricted at the ICRs, thus highlighting the significance of ICR methylation maintenance during the preimplantation period where genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming takes place. Using transgenic mice (TgM), we previously demonstrated that the H19 ICR possesses autonomous activity to acquire paternal-allele-specific DNA methylation after fertilization. Furthermore, this activity is indispensable for the maintenance of imprinted methylation at the endogenous H19 ICR during the preimplantation period. In addition, we showed that a specific 5' fragment of the H19 ICR is required for its paternal methylation after fertilization, while CTCF and Sox-Oct motifs are essential for its maternal protection from undesirable methylation after implantation.To ask whether specific cis elements are sufficient to reconstitute imprinted methylation status, we employed a TgM co-placement strategy for facilitating detection of postfertilization methylation activity and precise comparison of test sequences. Bacteriophage lambda DNA becomes highly methylated regardless of its parental origin and thus can be used as a neutral sequence bearing no inclination for differential DNA methylation. We previously showed that insertion of only CTCF and Sox-Oct binding motifs from the H19 ICR into a lambda DNA (LCb) decreased its methylation level after both paternal and maternal transmission. We therefore appended a 478-bp 5' sequence from the H19 ICR into the LCb fragment and found that it acquired paternal-allele-specific methylation, the dynamics of which was identical to that of the H19 ICR, in TgM. Crucially, transgene expression also became imprinted. Although there are potential binding sites for ZFP57 (a candidate protein thought to control the methylation imprint) in the larger H19 ICR, they are not found in the 478-bp fragment, rendering the role of ZFP57 in postfertilization H19 ICR methylation a still open question.Our results demonstrate that a differentially methylated region can be reconstituted by combining the activities of specific imprinting elements and that these elements together determine the activity of a genomically imprinted region in vivo.
Project description:A paternally methylated imprinting control region (ICR) directs allele-specific expression of the imprinted H19 and Igf2 genes. CTCF protein binding in the ICR is required in the maternal chromosome for insulating Igf2 from the shared enhancers, initiation of the H19 promoter transcription, maintaining DNA hypomethylation, and chromosome loop formation. Using novel quantitative allele-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation-single-nucleotide primer extension assays, we measured the chromatin composition along the H19/Igf2 imprinted domain in cells with engineered mutations at the four ICR-CTCF binding sites. Abolishing CTCF binding in the ICR reduced normally maternal allele-specific H3K9 acetylation and H3K4 methylation at the H19 ICR and promoter/gene body and maternal allele-specific H3K27 trimethylation at the Igf2 P2 promoter and Igf2 differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Paternal H3K27 trimethylation and macroH2A1 became biallelic in the mutant cells at the H19 promoter while paternal H3K9 acetylation and H3K4 methylation became biallelic at the Igf2 DMRs. We provide evidence that CTCF is the single major organizer of allele-specific chromatin composition in this domain. This finding has important implications: (i) for mechanisms of insulation since CTCF regulates chromatin at a distance, involving repression by H3K27 trimethylation at the Igf2 locus independently of repression by DNA hypermethylation; and (ii) for mechanisms of genomic imprinting since point mutations of CTCF binding sites cause domain-wide "paternalization" of the maternal allele's chromatin composition.
Project description:Expression of imprinted genes is restricted to a single parental allele as a result of epigenetic regulation-DNA methylation and histone modifications. Igf2/H19 is a reciprocally imprinted locus exhibiting paternal Igf2 and maternal H19 expression. Their expression is regulated by a paternally methylated imprinting control region (ICR) located between the two genes. Although the de novo DNA methyltransferases have been shown to be necessary for the establishment of ICR methylation, the mechanism by which they are targeted to the region remains unknown. We demonstrate that CTCFL/BORIS, a paralog of CTCF, is an ICR-binding protein expressed during embryonic male germ cell development, coinciding with the timing of ICR methylation. PRMT7, a protein arginine methyltransferase with which CTCFL interacts, is also expressed during embryonic testis development. Symmetrical dimethyl arginine 3 of histone H4, a modification catalyzed by PRMT7, accumulates in germ cells during this developmental period. This modified histone is also found enriched in both H19 ICR and Gtl2 differentially methylated region (DMR) chromatin of testis by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis. In vitro studies demonstrate that CTCFL stimulates the histone-methyltransferase activity of PRMT7 via interactions with both histones and PRMT7. Finally, H19 ICR methylation is demonstrated by nuclear co-injection of expression vectors encoding CTCFL, PRMT7, and the de novo DNA methyltransferases, Dnmt3a, -b and -L, in Xenopus oocytes. These results suggest that CTCFL and PRMT7 may play a role in male germline imprinted gene methylation.
Project description:Exposure to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals during pregnancy reportedly causes transgenerationally inherited reproductive defects. We hypothesized that to affect the grandchild, endocrine-disrupting chemicals must alter the epigenome of the germ cells of the in utero-exposed G1 male fetus. Additionally, to affect the great-grandchild, the aberration must persist in the germ cells of the unexposed G2 grandchild.Here, we treat gestating female mice with vinclozolin, bisphenol A, or di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate during the time when global de novo DNA methylation and imprint establishment occurs in the germ cells of the G1 male fetus. We map genome-wide features in purified G1 and G2 prospermatogonia, in order to detect immediate and persistent epigenetic aberrations, respectively. We detect changes in transcription and methylation in the G1 germline immediately after endocrine-disrupting chemicals exposure, but changes do not persist into the G2 germline. Additional analysis of genomic imprints shows no persistent aberrations in DNA methylation at the differentially methylated regions of imprinted genes between the G1 and G2 prospermatogonia, or in the allele-specific transcription of imprinted genes between the G2 and G3 soma.Our results suggest that endocrine-disrupting chemicals exert direct epigenetic effects in exposed fetal germ cells, which are corrected by reprogramming events in the next generation. Avoiding transgenerational inheritance of environmentally-caused epigenetic aberrations may have played an evolutionary role in the development of dual waves of global epigenome reprogramming in mammals.
Project description:To understand what dictates the emerging patterns of de novo DNA methylation, we mapped DNA methylation, chromatin, and transcription changes in purified fetal mouse germ cells using MIRA-chip, ChIP-chip, and strand-specific RNA-seq, respectively. De novo methylation occurred without any apparent trigger from preexisting repressing chromatin marks but was preceded by broad, low-level transcription along the entire genome in prospermatogonia. Only distinct short sequences remained unmethylated, precisely aligned with constitutive or emerging peaks of H3K4me2. Establishment of methylation at differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted genes, CpG islands, and IAPs followed these same default rules. Transcription run-through occurred at paternal DMRs with no- or diminishing H3K4me2 peaks. Maternal DMRs remained unmethylated among highly methylated DNA at precisely aligned H3K4me2 peaks with transcription initiating at least in one strand. Our results suggest that the pattern of de novo DNA methylation in prospermatogonia is dictated by opposing actions of broad, low-level transcription and dynamic patterns of active chromatin. Strand-specific RNA-seq was done in male and female fetal germ cells and somatic gonadal cells at 15.5 dpc to map transcription.
Project description:To understand what dictates the emerging patterns of de novo DNA methylation, we mapped DNA methylation, chromatin, and transcription changes in purified fetal mouse germ cells using MIRA-chip, ChIP-chip, and strand-specific RNA-seq, respectively. De novo methylation occurred without any apparent trigger from preexisting repressing chromatin marks but was preceded by broad, low-level transcription along the entire genome in prospermatogonia. Only distinct short sequences remained unmethylated, precisely aligned with constitutive or emerging peaks of H3K4me2. Establishment of methylation at differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted genes, CpG islands, and IAPs followed these same default rules. Transcription run-through occurred at paternal DMRs with no- or diminishing H3K4me2 peaks. Maternal DMRs remained unmethylated among highly methylated DNA at precisely aligned H3K4me2 peaks with transcription initiating at least in one strand. Our results suggest that the pattern of de novo DNA methylation in prospermatogonia is dictated by opposing actions of broad, low-level transcription and dynamic patterns of active chromatin. ChIP-chip and MIRA-chip were performed to map histone modifications and DNA methylation at different devlopmental time points in germ cells and somatic cells along known imprinted domains and control regions, using custom NimbleGen tiling arrays.
Project description:Hyper- and hypomethylation at the IGF2-H19 imprinting control region (ICR) result in reciprocal changes in IGF2-H19 expression and the two contrasting growth disorders, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). DNA methylation of the ICR controls the reciprocal imprinting of IGF2 and H19 by preventing the binding of the insulator protein, CTCF. We here show that local changes in histone modifications and CTCF--cohesin binding at the ICR in BWS and SRS together with DNA methylation correlate with the higher order chromatin structure at the locus. In lymphoblastoid cells from control individuals, we found the repressive histone H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 marks associated with the methylated paternal ICR allele and the bivalent H3K4me2/H3K27me3 mark together with H3K9ac and CTCF--cohesin associated with the non-methylated maternal allele. In patient-derived cell lines, the mat/pat asymmetric distribution of these epigenetic marks was lost with H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 becoming biallelic in the BWS and H3K4me2, H3K27me3 and H3K9ac together with CTCF-cohesin becoming biallelic in the SRS. We further show that in BWS and SRS cells, there is opposing chromatin looping conformation mediated by CTCF--cohesin binding sites surrounding the locus. In normal cells, lack of CTCF--cohesin binding at the paternal ICR is associated with monoallelic interaction between two CTCF sites flanking the locus. CTCF--cohesin binding at the maternal ICR blocks this interaction by associating with the CTCF site downstream of the enhancers. The two alternative chromatin conformations are differently favoured in BWS and SRS likely predisposing the locus to the activation of IGF2 or H19, respectively.
Project description:It is thought that the H19 imprinting control region (ICR) directs the silencing of the maternally inherited Igf2 allele through a CTCF-dependent chromatin insulator. The ICR has been shown to interact physically with a silencer region in Igf2, differentially methylated region (DMR)1, but the role of CTCF in this chromatin loop and whether it restricts the physical access of distal enhancers to Igf2 is not known. We performed systematic chromosome conformation capture analyses in the Igf2/H19 region over >160 kb, identifying sequences that interact physically with the distal enhancers and the ICR. We found that, on the paternal chromosome, enhancers interact with the Igf2 promoters but that, on the maternal allele, this is prevented by CTCF binding within the H19 ICR. CTCF binding in the maternal ICR regulates its interaction with matrix attachment region (MAR)3 and DMR1 at Igf2, thus forming a tight loop around the maternal Igf2 locus, which may contribute to its silencing. Mutation of CTCF binding sites in the H19 ICR leads to loss of CTCF binding and de novo methylation of a CTCF target site within Igf2 DMR1, showing that CTCF can coordinate regional epigenetic marks. This systematic chromosome conformation capture analysis of an imprinting cluster reveals that CTCF has a critical role in the epigenetic regulation of higher-order chromatin structure and gene silencing over considerable distances in the genome.
Project description:Imprinted genes are expressed from one parental allele and regulated by differential DNA methylation at imprinting control regions (ICRs). ICRs are reprogrammed in the germline through erasure and re-establishment of DNA methylation. Although much is known about DNA methylation establishment, DNA demethylation is less well understood. Recently, the Ten-Eleven Translocation proteins (TET1-3) have been shown to initiate DNA demethylation, with Tet1-/- mice exhibiting aberrant levels of imprinted gene expression and ICR methylation. Nevertheless, the role of TET1 in demethylating ICRs in the female germline and in controlling allele-specific expression remains unknown. Here, we examined ICR-specific DNA methylation in Tet1-/- germ cells and ascertained whether abnormal ICR methylation impacted imprinted gene expression in F1 hybrid somatic tissues derived from Tet1-/- eggs or sperm. We show that Tet1 deficiency is associated with hypermethylation of a subset of ICRs in germ cells. Moreover, ICRs with defective germline reprogramming exhibit aberrant DNA methylation and biallelic expression of linked imprinted genes in somatic tissues. Thus, we define a discrete set of genomic regions that require TET1 for germline reprogramming and discuss mechanisms for stochastic imprinting defects.