ABSTRACT: In eukaryotic cells, genomic DNA replicates in a defined temporal order. The inactive X chromosome (Xi), the most extensive instance of facultative heterochromatin in mammals, replicates later than the active X chromosome (Xa), but the replication dynamics of inactive chromatin are not known. By profiling human DNA replication in an allele-specific, chromosomally phased manner, we determined for the first time the replication timing along the active and inactive chromosomes (Xa and Xi) separately. Replication of the Xi was different from that of the Xa, varied among individuals, and resembled a random, unstructured process. The Xi replicated rapidly and at a time largely separable from that of the euchromatic genome. Late-replicating, transcriptionally inactive regions on the autosomes also replicated in an unstructured manner, similar to the Xi. We conclude that DNA replication follows two strategies: slow, ordered replication associated with transcriptional activity, and rapid, random replication of silent chromatin. The two strategies coexist in the same cell, yet are segregated in space and time.
Project description:In mammals, dosage compensation between male and female cells is achieved by inactivating one female X chromosome (Xi). Late replication of Xi was proposed to be involved in the maintenance of its silenced state. Here, we show a highly synchronous replication of the Xi within 1 to 2 h during early-mid S-phase by following DNA replication in living mammalian cells with green fluorescent protein-tagged replication proteins. The Xi was replicated before or concomitant with perinuclear or perinucleolar facultative heterochromatin and before constitutive heterochromatin. Ectopic expression of the X-inactive-specific transcript (Xist) gene from an autosome imposed the same synchronous replication pattern. We used mutations and chemical inhibition affecting different epigenetic marks as well as inducible Xist expression and we demonstrate that histone hypoacetylation has a key role in controlling Xi replication. The epigenetically controlled, highly coordinated replication of the Xi is reminiscent of embryonic genome replication in flies and frogs before genome activation and might be a common feature of transcriptionally silent chromatin.
Project description:Using a genetic model, we present a high-resolution chromatin fiber analysis of transcriptionally active (Xa) and inactive (Xi) X chromosomes packaged into euchromatin and facultative heterochromatin. Our results show that gene promoters have an open chromatin structure that is enhanced upon transcriptional activation but the Xa and the Xi have similar overall 30 nm chromatin fiber structures. Therefore, the formation of facultative heterochromatin is dependent on factors that act at a level above the 30 nm fiber and transcription does not alter bulk chromatin fiber structures. However, large-scale chromatin structures on Xa are decondensed compared with the Xi and transcription inhibition is sufficient to promote large-scale chromatin compaction. We show a link between transcription and large-scale chromatin packaging independent of the bulk 30 nm chromatin fiber and propose that transcription, not the global compaction of 30 nm chromatin fibers, determines the cytological appearance of large-scale chromatin structures.
Project description:Chromosome territory (CT) organization and chromatin condensation have been linked to gene expression. Although individual genes can be transcribed from inside CTs, some regions that have constitutively high expression or are coordinately activated loop out from CTs and decondense. The relationship between epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, and higher-order chromatin structures is largely unexplored. DNMT3B mutations in immunodeficiency centromeric instability facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome result in loss of DNA methylation at particular sites, including CpG islands on the inactive X chromosome (Xi). This allows the specific effects of DNA methylation on CTs to be examined. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we reveal a differential organization of the human pseudoautosomal region (PAR)2 between the CTs of the X and Y in normal males and the active X (Xa) and the Xi in females. There is also a more condensed chromatin structure on Xi compared with Xa in this region. PAR2 genes are relocalized toward the outside of the Y and Xi CTs in ICF, and on the Xi, we show that this can extend to genes distant from the site of DNA hypomethylation itself. This reorganization is not simply a reflection of the transcriptional activation of the relocalized genes. This report of altered CT organization in a human genetic disease illustrates that DNA hypomethylation at restricted sites in the genome can lead to more extensive changes in nuclear organization away from the original site of epigenetic change.
Project description:During cell division, chromatin alternates between a condensed state to facilitate chromosome segregation and a decondensed form when DNA replicates. In most tissues, S phase and mitosis are separated by defined G1 and G2 gap phases, but early embryogenesis involves rapid oscillations between replication and mitosis. Using Caenorhabditis elegans embryos as a model system, we show that chromosome condensation and condensin II concentration on chromosomal axes require replicated DNA. In addition, we found that, during late telophase, replication initiates on condensed chromosomes and promotes the rapid decondensation of the chromatin. Upon replication initiation, the CDC-45-MCM-GINS (CMG) DNA helicase drives the release of condensin I complexes from chromatin and the activation or displacement of inactive MCM-2-7 complexes, which together with the nucleoporin MEL-28/ELYS tethers condensed chromatin to the nuclear envelope, thereby promoting chromatin decondensation. Our results show how, in an early embryo, the chromosome-condensation cycle is functionally linked with DNA replication.
Project description:Replicating the genome prior to each somatic cell division not only requires precise duplication of the genetic information, but also accurately reestablishing the epigenetic signatures that instruct how the genetic material is to be interpreted in the daughter cells. The mammalian inactive X chromosome (Xi), which is faithfully inherited in a silent state in each daughter cell, provides an excellent model of epigenetic regulation. While much is known about the early stages of X chromosome inactivation, much less is understood with regards to retaining the Xi chromatin through somatic cell division. Here we report that the WSTF-ISWI chromatin remodeling complex (WICH) associates with the Xi during late S-phase as the Xi DNA is replicated. Elevated levels of WICH at the Xi is restricted to late S-phase and appears before BRCA1 and ?-H2A.X. The sequential appearance of WICH and BRCA1/?-H2A.X implicate each as performing important but distinct roles in the maturation and maintenance of heterochromatin at the Xi.
Project description:Applications of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) require faithful chromatin changes during differentiation, but the fate of the X chromosome state in differentiating ESCs is unclear. Female human ESC lines either carry two active X chromosomes (XaXa), an Xa and inactive X chromosome with or without XIST RNA coating (XiXIST+Xa;XiXa), or an Xa and an eroded Xi (XeXa) where the Xi no longer expresses XIST RNA and has partially reactivated. Here, we established XiXa, XeXa, and XaXa ESC lines and followed their X chromosome state during differentiation. Surprisingly, we found that the X state pre-existing in primed ESCs is maintained in differentiated cells. Consequently, differentiated XeXa and XaXa cells lacked XIST, did not induce X inactivation, and displayed higher X-linked gene expression than XiXa cells. These results demonstrate that X chromosome dosage compensation is not required for ESC differentiation. Our data imply that XiXIST+Xa ESCs are most suited for downstream applications and show that all other X states are abnormal byproducts of our ESC derivation and propagation method.
Project description:Using a genetic model, we present a high resolution chromatin fibre analysis of transcriptionally active (Xa) and inactive (Xi) X chromosomes packaged into euchromatin and facultative heterochromatin. Our results show that gene promoters have an open chromatin structure that is enhanced upon transcriptional activation but the Xa and the Xi have similar overall 30-nm chromatin fibre structures. Therefore, the formation of facultative heterochromatin is dependent on factors that act at a level above the 30-nm fibre and transcription does not alter bulk chromatin fibre structures. However, large scale chromatin structures on Xa are decondensed compared to the Xi and transcription inhibition is sufficient to promote large scale chromatin compaction. We show a link between transcription and large scale chromatin packaging independent of the bulk 30-nm chromatin fibre and propose that transcription, not the global compaction of 30-nm chromatin fibres, determines the cytological appearance of large scale chromatin structures. This SuperSeries is composed of the SubSeries listed below. Overall design: Refer to individual Series
Project description:DNA methylation at gene promoters in a CG context is associated with transcriptional repression, including at genes silenced on the inactive X chromosome in females. Non-CG methylation (mCH) is a distinct feature of the neuronal epigenome that is differentially distributed between males and females on the X chromosome. However, little is known about differences in mCH on the active (Xa) and inactive (Xi) X chromosomes because stochastic X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) confounds allele-specific epigenomic profiling. We used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing in a mouse model with nonrandom XCI to examine allele-specific DNA methylation in frontal cortex. Xi was largely devoid of mCH, whereas Xa contained abundant mCH similar to the male X chromosome and the autosomes. In contrast to the repressive association of DNA methylation at CG dinucleotides (mCG), mCH accumulates on Xi in domains with transcriptional activity, including the bodies of most genes that escape XCI and at the X-inactivation center, validating this epigenetic mark as a signature of transcriptional activity. Escape genes showing CH hypermethylation were the only genes with CG-hypomethylated promoters on Xi, a well-known mark of active transcription. Finally, we found extensive allele-specific mCH and mCG at autosomal imprinted regions, some with a negative correlation between methylation in the two contexts, further supporting their distinct functions. Our findings show that neuronal mCH functions independently of mCG and is a highly dynamic epigenomic correlate of allele-specific gene regulation.
Project description:The inactive X chromosome's (Xi) physical territory is microscopically devoid of transcriptional hallmarks and enriched in silencing-associated modifications. How these microscopic signatures relate to specific Xi sequences is unknown. Therefore, we profiled Xi gene expression and chromatin states at high resolution via allele-specific sequencing in mouse trophoblast stem cells. Most notably, X-inactivated transcription start sites harbored distinct epigenetic signatures relative to surrounding Xi DNA. These sites displayed H3-lysine27-trimethylation enrichment and DNaseI hypersensitivity, similar to autosomal Polycomb targets, yet excluded Pol II and other transcriptional hallmarks, similar to nontranscribed genes. CTCF bound X-inactivated and escaping genes, irrespective of measured chromatin boundaries. Escape from X inactivation occurred within, and X inactivation was maintained exterior to, the area encompassed by Xist in cells subject to imprinted and random X inactivation. The data support a model whereby inactivation of specific regulatory elements, rather than a simple chromosome-wide separation from transcription machinery, governs gene silencing over the Xi.
Project description:Female human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines exhibit variability in X-inactivation status. The majority of hiPSC lines maintain one transcriptionally active X (Xa) and one inactive X (Xi) chromosome from donor cells. However, at low frequency, hiPSC lines with two Xas are produced, suggesting that epigenetic alterations of the Xi occur sporadically during reprogramming. We show here that X-inactivation status in female hiPSC lines depends on derivation conditions. hiPSC lines generated by the Kyoto method (retroviral or episomal reprogramming), which uses leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)-expressing SNL feeders, frequently had two Xas. Early passage Xa/Xi hiPSC lines generated on non-SNL feeders were converted into Xa/Xa hiPSC lines after several passages on SNL feeders, and supplementation with recombinant LIF caused reactivation of some of X-linked genes. Thus, feeders are a significant factor affecting X-inactivation status. The efficient production of Xa/Xa hiPSC lines provides unprecedented opportunities to understand human X-reactivation and -inactivation.