Atypical DNA methylation of genes encoding cysteine-rich peptides in Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In plants, transposons and non-protein-coding repeats are epigenetically silenced by CG and non-CG methylation. This pattern of methylation is mediated in part by small RNAs and two specialized RNA polymerases, termed Pol IV and Pol V, in a process called RNA-directed DNA methylation. By contrast, many protein-coding genes transcribed by Pol II contain in their gene bodies exclusively CG methylation that is independent of small RNAs and Pol IV/Pol V activities. It is unclear how the different methylation machineries distinguish between transposons and genes. Here we report on a group of atypical genes that display in their coding region a transposon-like methylation pattern, which is associated with gene silencing in sporophytic tissues. RESULTS: We performed a methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analysis to search for targets of RNA-directed DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana and identified several members of a gene family encoding cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs). In leaves, the CRP genes are silent and their coding regions contain dense, transposon-like methylation in CG, CHG and CHH contexts, which depends partly on the Pol IV/Pol V pathway and small RNAs. Methylation in the coding region is reduced, however, in the synergid cells of the female gametophyte, where the CRP genes are specifically expressed. Further demonstrating that expressed CRP genes lack gene body methylation, a CRP4-GFP fusion gene under the control of the constitutive 35?S promoter remains unmethylated in leaves and is transcribed to produce a translatable mRNA. By contrast, a CRP4-GFP fusion gene under the control of a CRP4 promoter fragment acquires CG and non-CG methylation in the CRP coding region in leaves similar to the silent endogenous CRP4 gene. CONCLUSIONS: Unlike CG methylation in gene bodies, which does not dramatically affect Pol II transcription, combined CG and non-CG methylation in CRP coding regions is likely to contribute to gene silencing in leaves because loss of this methylation in synergid cells is associated with CRP gene expression. We discuss this unusual methylation pattern and its alteration in synergid cells as well as the possible retrogene origin and evolutionary significance of CRP genes that are methylated like transposons.
Project description:In plants, transposons and non-protein-coding repeats are epigenetically silenced by CG and non-CG methylation. This pattern of methylation is mediated in part by small RNAs and two specialized RNA polymerases, Pol IV and Pol V, in a process called RNA-directed DNA methylation. By contrast, many protein-coding genes transcribed by Pol II contain in their gene bodies exclusively CG methylation that is independent of small RNAs and Pol IV/Pol V activities. It is unclear how the different methylation machineries distinguish between transposons and genes. Here we report on a group of atypical genes that display in their coding region a transposon-like methylation pattern, which is associated with gene silencing in sporophytic tissues. We performed a methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism analysis to search for targets of RNA-directed DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana and identified several members of a gene family encoding cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs). We also examined small RNA abundance at individual CRP genes in the wild type plant, nrpd1, and rdr2 mutant plants.
Project description:Differential cytosine methylation of genes and transposons is important for maintaining integrity of plant genomes. In Arabidopsis, transposons are heavily methylated at both CG and non-CG sites, whereas the non-CG methylation is rarely found in active genes. Our previous genetic analysis suggested that a jmjC domain-containing protein IBM1 (increase in BONSAI methylation 1) prevents ectopic deposition of non-CG methylation, and this process is necessary for normal Arabidopsis development. Here, we directly determined the genomic targets of IBM1 through high-resolution genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation. The ibm1 mutation induced extensive hyper-methylation in thousands of genes. Transposons were unaffected. Notably, long transcribed genes were most severely affected. Methylation of genes is limited to CG sites in wild type, but CHG sites were also methylated in the ibm1 mutant. The ibm1-induced hyper-methylation did not depend on previously characterized components of the RNAi-based DNA methylation machinery. Our results suggest novel transcription-coupled mechanisms to direct genic methylation not only at CG but also at CHG sites. IBM1 prevents the CHG methylation in genes, but not in transposons.
Project description:RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing is a conserved process where small RNAs target transposons and other sequences for repression by establishing chromatin modifications. A central element of this process are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA), which in Arabidopsis thaliana are produced by a specialized RNA polymerase known as Pol V. Here we show that non-coding transcription by Pol V is controlled by preexisting chromatin modifications located within the transcribed regions. Most Pol V transcripts are associated with AGO4 but are not sliced by AGO4. Pol V-dependent DNA methylation is established on both strands of DNA and is tightly restricted to Pol V-transcribed regions. This indicates that chromatin modifications are established in close proximity to Pol V. Finally, Pol V transcription is preferentially enriched on edges of silenced transposable elements, where Pol V transcribes into TEs. We propose that Pol V may play an important role in the determination of heterochromatin boundaries.
Project description:DNA methylation and dimethylation of lysine 9 of histone H3 (H3K9me2) are two chromatin modifications that can be associated with gene expression or recombination rate. The maize genome provides a complex landscape of interspersed genes and transposons. The genome-wide distribution of DNA methylation and H3K9me2 were investigated in seedling tissue for the maize inbred B73 and compared to patterns of these modifications observed in Arabidopsis thaliana. Most maize transposons are highly enriched for DNA methylation in CG and CHG contexts and for H3K9me2. In contrast to findings in Arabidopsis, maize CHH levels in transposons are generally low but some sub-families of transposons are enriched for CHH methylation and these families exhibit low levels of H3K9me2. The profile of modifications over genes reveals that DNA methylation and H3K9me2 is quite low near the beginning and end of genes. Although elevated CG and CHG methylation are found within gene bodies, CHH and H3K9me2 remain low. Maize has much higher levels of CHG methylation within gene bodies than observed in Arabidopsis and this is partially attributable to the presence of transposons within introns for some maize genes. These transposons are associated with high levels of CHG methylation and H3K9me2 but do not appear to prevent transcriptional elongation. Although the general trend is for a strong depletion of H3K9me2 and CHG near the transcription start site there are some putative genes that have high levels of these chromatin modifications. This study provides a clear view of the relationship between DNA methylation and H3K9me2 in the maize genome and how the distribution of these modifications is shaped by the interplay of genes and transposons.
Project description:Nuclear multisubunit RNA polymerases IV and V (Pol IV and Pol V) evolved in plants as specialized forms of Pol II. Their functions are best understood in the context of RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM), a process in which Pol IV-dependent 24 nt siRNAs direct the de novo cytosine methylation of regions transcribed by Pol V. Pol V has additional functions, independent of Pol IV and 24 nt siRNA biogenesis, in maintaining the repression of transposons and genomic repeats whose silencing depends on maintenance cytosine methylation. Here we report that Pol IV and Pol V play unexpected roles in defining the 3' boundaries of Pol II transcription units. Nuclear run-on assays reveal that in the absence of Pol IV or Pol V, Pol II occupancy downstream of poly A sites increases for approximately 12% of protein-coding genes. This effect is most pronounced for convergently transcribed gene pairs. Although Pols IV and V are detected near transcript ends of the affected Pol II - transcribed genes, their role in limiting Pol II read-through is independent of siRNA biogenesis or cytosine methylation for the majority of these genes. Interestingly, we observed that splicing was less efficient in pol IV or pol V mutant plants, compared to wild-type plants, suggesting that Pol IV or Pol V might affect pre-mRNA processing. We speculate that Pols IV and V (and/or their associated factors) play roles in Pol II transcription termination and pre-mRNA splicing by influencing polymerase elongation rates and/or release at collision sites for convergent genes.
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:To examine the relationship of reduced CG methylation and gene expression in Lsh KO MEFs, we computed mean CG methylation levels at promoter regions of protein-coding genes. About 60% of TSS regions of protein-coding genes display a difference of CG methylation values greater than 0.3 (WT CG methylation minus KO CG methylation) indicating that Lsh deletion has widespread effects at promoter regions. RNA-seq analysis detects similar transcript steady state levels in WT and KO samples. To determine the relationship of Pol II binding and CG methylation reduction in KO MEFs, Pol II Chip-seq was performed. Protein coding genes were ranked according their CG methylation differences between WT MEFs and KO MEFs. The greatest loss of CG methylation is found at promoter with low CG density. Pol II association is inversely related to the number of CpG sites within promoter regions. KO MEFs show less Pol II association at CG rich promoter regions. However, RNA-seq reads are indistinguishable comparing WT and KO samples, suggesting similar transcriptional efficiency in the absence of Lsh. To explore other molecular mechanisms that may preserve low transcription activity or repression at CG hypomethylated promoter regions, we examined H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 modifications by ChIP-seq. Genome wide computation of histone modifications at 5kb tiles shows no increase of H3K27me3 level in KO MEFs. When we ranked 5kb tiles based on CG methylation differences between WT and KO, we observed alterations in H3K27me3 distribution, while H3K4me3 modifications are unremarkable. Regions with moderate CG methylation reduction exhibit concomitant decreases in H3K27me3. mRNA profiles and Genome-wide maps of H3K27me3, H3K4me3 and Pol II in wildtype (WT) and Lsh KO primary MEFs.
Project description:DNA methylation is important for the regulation of gene expression and the silencing of transposons in plants. Here we present genome-wide methylation patterns at single-base pair resolution for cassava (Manihot esculenta, cultivar TME 7), a crop with a substantial impact in the agriculture of subtropical and tropical regions. On average, DNA methylation levels were higher in all three DNA sequence contexts (CG, CHG, and CHH, where H equals A, T, or C) than those of the most well-studied model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. As in other plants, DNA methylation was found both on transposons and in the transcribed regions (bodies) of many genes. Consistent with these patterns, at least one cassava gene copy of all of the known components of Arabidopsis DNA methylation pathways was identified. Methylation of LTR transposons (GYPSY and COPIA) was found to be unusually high compared with other types of transposons, suggesting that the control of the activity of these two types of transposons may be especially important. Analysis of duplicated gene pairs resulting from whole-genome duplication showed that gene body DNA methylation and gene expression levels have coevolved over short evolutionary time scales, reinforcing the positive relationship between gene body methylation and high levels of gene expression. Duplicated genes with the most divergent gene body methylation and expression patterns were found to have distinct biological functions and may have been under natural or human selection for cassava traits.
Project description:In diverse eukaryotes, constitutively silent sequences, such as transposons and repeats, are marked by methylation at histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me). Although selective H3K9me is critical for maintaining genome integrity, mechanisms to exclude H3K9me from active genes remain largely unexplored. Here, we show in Arabidopsis that the exclusion depends on a histone demethylase gene, IBM1 (increase in BONSAI methylation). Loss-of-function ibm1 mutation results in ectopic H3K9me and non-CG methylation in thousands of genes. The ibm1-induced genic H3K9me depends on both histone methylase KYP/SUVH4 and DNA methylase CMT3, suggesting interdependence of two epigenetic marks--H3K9me and non-CG methylation. Notably, IBM1 enhances loss of H3K9me in transcriptionally de-repressed sequences. Furthermore, disruption of transcription in genes induces ectopic non-CG methylation, which mimics the loss of IBM1 function. We propose that active chromatin is stabilized by an autocatalytic loop of transcription and H3K9 demethylation. This process counteracts a similarly autocatalytic accumulation of silent epigenetic marks, H3K9me and non-CG methylation.
Project description:The Disease Activity Score based on 28 joints (DAS28) has been increasingly used in clinical practice and research studies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies have reported discordance between DAS28 based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) versus C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with RA. However, such comparison is lacking in African Americans with RA.This analysis included participants from the Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African Americans with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (CLEAR) registry, which enrolls self-declared African Americans with RA. Using tender and swollen joint counts, separate ESR-based and CRP-based DAS28 scores (DAS28-ESR3 and DAS28-CRP3) were calculated, as were DAS28-ESR4 and DAS28-CRP4, which included the patient's assessment of disease activity. The scores were compared using paired t-test, simple agreement and ?, correlation coefficient, and Bland-Altman plots.Of the 233 included participants, 85% were women, mean age at enrollment was 52.6 years, and median disease duration at enrollment was 21 months. Mean DAS28-ESR3 was significantly higher than DAS28-CRP3 (4.8 vs 3.9; p < 0.001). Similarly, mean DAS28-ESR4 was significantly higher than DAS28-CRP4 (4.7 vs 3.9; p < 0.001). ESR-based DAS28 remained higher than CRP-based DAS28 even when stratified by age, sex, and disease duration. Overall agreement was not high between DAS28-ESR3 and DAS28-CRP3 (50%) or between DAS28-ESR4 and DAS28-CRP4 (59%). DAS28-CRP3 underestimated disease activity in 47% of the participants relative to DAS28-ESR3 and DAS28-CRP4 in 40% of the participants relative to DAS28-ESR4.There was significant discordance between the ESR-based and CRP-based DAS28, a situation that could affect clinical treatment decisions for African Americans with RA.