The Mbd1-Atf7ip-Setdb1 pathway contributes to the maintenance of X chromosome inactivation.
ABSTRACT: X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is a developmental program of heterochromatin formation that initiates during early female mammalian embryonic development and is maintained through a lifetime of cell divisions in somatic cells. Despite identification of the crucial long non-coding RNA Xist and involvement of specific chromatin modifiers in the establishment and maintenance of the heterochromatin of the inactive X chromosome (Xi), interference with known pathways only partially reactivates the Xi once silencing has been established. Here, we studied ATF7IP (MCAF1), a protein previously characterized to coordinate DNA methylation and histone H3K9 methylation through interactions with the methyl-DNA binding protein MBD1 and the histone H3K9 methyltransferase SETDB1, as a candidate maintenance factor of the Xi.We found that siRNA-mediated knockdown of Atf7ip in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) induces the activation of silenced reporter genes on the Xi in a low number of cells. Additional inhibition of two pathways known to contribute to Xi maintenance, DNA methylation and Xist RNA coating of the X chromosome, strongly increased the number of cells expressing Xi-linked genes upon Atf7ip knockdown. Despite its functional importance in Xi maintenance, ATF7IP does not accumulate on the Xi in MEFs or differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells. However, we found that depletion of two known repressive biochemical interactors of ATF7IP, MBD1 and SETDB1, but not of other unrelated H3K9 methyltransferases, also induces the activation of an Xi-linked reporter in MEFs.Together, these data indicate that Atf7ip acts in a synergistic fashion with DNA methylation and Xist RNA to maintain the silent state of the Xi in somatic cells, and that Mbd1 and Setdb1, similar to Atf7ip, play a functional role in Xi silencing. We therefore propose that ATF7IP links DNA methylation on the Xi to SETDB1-mediated H3K9 trimethylation via its interaction with MBD1, and that this function is a crucial feature of the stable silencing of the Xi in female mammalian cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:G9a and the related enzyme GLP were originally identified as histone lysine methyltransferases and then shown to also methylate several other non-histone proteins. RESULTS:Here, we performed a comprehensive screen to identify their substrates in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). We identified 59 proteins, including histones and other known substrates. One of the identified substrates, activating transcriptional factor 7-interacting protein 1 (ATF7IP), is tri-methylated at a histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9)-like mimic by the G9a/GLP complex, although this complex mainly introduces di-methylation on H3K9 and DNA ligase 1 (LIG1) K126 in cells. The catalytic domain of G9a showed a higher affinity for di-methylated lysine on ATF7IP than LIG1, which may create different methylation levels of different substrates in cells. Furthermore, we found that M-phase phosphoprotein 8 (MPP8), known as a H3K9me3-binding protein, recognizes methylated ATF7IP via its chromodomain. MPP8 is also a known component of the human silencing hub complex that mediates silencing of transgenes via SETDB1 recruitment, which is a binding partner of ATF7IP. Although the interaction between ATF7IP and SETDB1 does not depend on ATF7IP methylation, we found that induction of SETDB1/MPP8-mediated reporter-provirus silencing is delayed in mESCs expressing only an un-methylatable mutant of ATF7IP. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings provide new insights into the roles of lysine methylation in non-histone substrates which are targeted by the G9a/GLP complex and suggest a potential function of ATF7IP methylation in SETDB1/MPP8-mediated transgene silencing.
Project description:Understanding of the appropriate regulation of enzymatic activities of histone-modifying enzymes remains poor. The lysine methyltransferase, SETDB1, is one of the enzymes responsible for the methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9) and plays a key role in H3K9 trimethylation-mediated silencing of genes and retrotransposons. Here, we reported that how SETDB1's enzymatic activities can be regulated by the nuclear protein, ATF7IP, a known binding partner of SETDB1. Mechanistically, ATF7IP mediates SETDB1 retention inside the nucleus, presumably by inhibiting its nuclear export by binding to the N-terminal region of SETDB1, which harbors the nuclear export signal motifs, and also by promoting its nuclear import. The nuclear localization of SETDB1 increases its ubiquitinated, enzymatically more active form. Our results provided an insight as to how ATF7IP can regulate the histone methyltranferase activity of SETDB1 accompanied by its nuclear translocation.
Project description:DNA methylation is an important form of epigenetic regulation in both normal development and cancer. Methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 1 (MBD1) is highly related to DNA methylation. Its MBD domain recognizes and binds to methylated CpGs. This binding allows it to trigger methylation of H3K9 and results in transcriptional repression. The CXXC3 domain of MBD1 makes it a unique member of the MBD family due to its affinity to unmethylated DNA. MBD1 acts as an epigenetic regulator via different mechanisms, such as the formation of the MCAF1/MBD1/SETDB1 complex or the MBD1-HDAC3 complex. As methylation status always changes along with carcinogenesis or neurogenesis, MBD1 with its interacting partners, including proteins and non-coding RNAs, participates in normal or pathological processes and functions in different regulatory systems. Because of the important role of MBD1 in epigenetic regulation, it is a good candidate as a therapeutic target for diseases.
Project description:The histone methyltransferase SETDB1 plays a central role in repressive chromatin processes, but the functional requirement for its binding partner ATF7IP has remained enigmatic. Here, we show that ATF7IP is essential for SETDB1 stability: nuclear SETDB1 protein is degraded by the proteasome upon ablation of ATF7IP. As a result, ATF7IP is critical for repression that requires H3K9 trimethylation by SETDB1, including transgene silencing by the HUSH complex. Furthermore, we show that loss of ATF7IP phenocopies loss of SETDB1 in genome-wide assays. ATF7IP and SETDB1 knockout cells exhibit near-identical defects in the global deposition of H3K9me3, which results in similar dysregulation of the transcriptome. Overall, these data identify a critical functional role for ATF7IP in heterochromatin formation by regulating SETDB1 abundance in the nucleus.
Project description:In mammalian cells, DNA methylation is associated with heritable and stable gene repression, mediated in part by methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) proteins that recruit corepressors to modify chromatin. MBD1 protein, a member of the MBD family, forms a complex with SETDB1 histone methylase to silence transcription at target promoters by methylation of lysine 9 of histone H3. How MBD1-mediated transcriptional repression is regulated is currently unknown. Here we show that MBD1 is a target for sumoylation by PIAS1 (Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT 1) and PIAS3 E3 SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier)-ligases, at two conserved lysine residues within the C-terminus of MBD1. Although sumoylated MBD1 binds to methylated DNA, it does not incorporate into a complex with SETDB1 and does not efficiently repress transcription of a target gene, p53BP2, in HeLa cells. Our data suggest that transcriptional silencing by MBD1 is regulated by a PIAS-mediated conjugation of SUMO1, which antagonizes the formation of a repressive complex with SETDB1.
Project description:SETDB1 (SET Domain Bifurcated histone lysine methyltransferase 1) is a key lysine methyltransferase (KMT) required in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), where it silences transposable elements and DNA repeats via histone H3 lysine 9 tri-methylation (H3K9me3), independently of DNA methylation. The H3K9 methylation reader M-Phase Phosphoprotein 8 (MPP8) is highly expressed in ESCs and germline cells. Although evidence of a cooperation between H3K9 KMTs and MPP8 in committed cells has emerged, the interplay between H3K9 methylation writers and MPP8 in ESCs remains elusive. Here, we show that MPP8 interacts physically and functionally with SETDB1 in ESCs. Indeed, combining biochemical, transcriptomic and genomic analyses, we found that MPP8 and SETDB1 co-regulate a significant number of common genomic targets, especially the DNA satellite repeats. Together, our data point to a model in which the silencing of a class of repeated sequences in ESCs involves the cooperation between the H3K9 methylation writer SETDB1 and its reader MPP8.
Project description:Genetic ablation of the maintenance methyltransferase Dnmt1 induces widespread demethylation and transcriptional activation of CpG-rich IAP (intracisternal A particle) proviruses. Here, we report that this phenomenon is not simply a consequence of loss of DNA methylation. By exploiting conditional deletions of Dnmt1 and Np95, each of which is essential for maintenance methylation, we find that while IAPs are indeed de-repressed in Dnmt1-ablated embryos and embryonic stem cells (ESCs), these proviruses remain silenced in Np95-ablated cells, despite similar kinetics of passive demethylation. Paradoxically, transient IAP activation in Dnmt1-ablated ESCs requires the presence of NP95. We subsequently show that in the absence of NP95, the H3K9 methyltransferase SETDB1 maintains IAP silencing; while in the absence of DNMT1, prolonged binding of NP95 to hemimethylated DNA perturbs SETDB1-dependent H3K9me3 deposition. Taken together, these observations reveal that following acute loss of Dnmt1, H3K9 methylation-dependent IAP silencing is disrupted by aberrant NP95 binding to hemimethylated DNA. RNA-seq for Np95, Dnmt1 and Setdb1 wt, single conditional KO (cKO) and double cKO ES cells; RRBS-seq for Dnmt1 and Np95 single and double cKO ESCs; Myc-tagged NP95, DNMT1 ChIP-seq; and wt and Np95wt and cKO H3K9me3 ChIP-seq.
Project description:The combinatorial pattern of DNA and histone modifications constitutes an epigenetic 'code' that shapes gene-expression patterns by enabling or restricting the transcriptional potential of genomic domains. DNA methylation is associated with histone modifications, particularly the absence of histone H3 lysine 4 methylation (H3K4me0) and the presence of H3K9 methylation. This article focuses on three protein domains (ATRX-Dnmt3-Dnmt3L [ADD], Cys-X-X-Cys [CXXC] and the methyl-CpG-binding domain [MBD]) and the functional implications of domain architecture in the mechanisms linking histone methylation and DNA methylation in mammalian cells. The DNA methyltransferase DNMT3a and its accessory protein Dnmt 3L contain a H3K4me0-interacting ADD domain that links the DNA methylation reaction with unmodified H3K4. The H3K4 methyltransferase MLL1 contains a CpG-interacting CXXC domain that may couple the H3K4 methylation reaction to unmethylated DNA. Another H3K4 methyltransferase, SET1, although lacking an intrinsic CXXC domain, interacts directly with an accessory protein CFP1 that contains the same domain. The H3K9 methyltransferase SETDB1 contains a putative MBD that potentially links the H3K4 methylation reaction to methylated DNA or may do so through the interaction with the MBD containing protein MBD1. Finally, we consider the domain structure of the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, its accessory protein UHRF1 and their associated proteins, and propose a mechanism by which DNA methylation and histone methylation may be coordinately maintained through mitotic cell division, allowing for the transmission of parental DNA and for the histone methylation patterns to be copied to newly replicated chromatin.
Project description:The maintenance of immunological tolerance requires the deletion of self-reactive T cells in the thymus. The expression of genes encoding tissue-specific antigens (TSAs) by thymic epithelial cells is critical for this process and depends on activity of the transcriptional regulator Aire; however, the molecular mechanisms Aire uses to target loci encoding TSAs are unknown. Here we identified two Aire-interacting proteins known to be involved in gene repression, ATF7ip and MBD1, that were required for Aire's targeting of loci encoding TSAs. Moreover, Mbd1(-/-) mice developed pathological autoimmunity and had a defect in Aire-dependent thymic expression of genes encoding TSAs, which underscores the importance of Aire's interaction with the ATF7ip-MBD1 protein complex in maintaining central tolerance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The presence of histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation on the mouse inactive X chromosome has been controversial over the last 15 years, and the functional role of H3K9 methylation in X chromosome inactivation in any species has remained largely unexplored. RESULTS:Here we report the first genomic analysis of H3K9 di- and tri-methylation on the inactive X: we find they are enriched at the intergenic, gene poor regions of the inactive X, interspersed between H3K27 tri-methylation domains found in the gene dense regions. Although H3K9 methylation is predominantly non-genic, we find that depletion of H3K9 methylation via depletion of H3K9 methyltransferase Set domain bifurcated 1 (Setdb1) during the establishment of X inactivation, results in failure of silencing for around 150 genes on the inactive X. By contrast, we find a very minor role for Setdb1-mediated H3K9 methylation once X inactivation is fully established. In addition to failed gene silencing, we observed a specific failure to silence X-linked long-terminal repeat class repetitive elements. CONCLUSIONS:Here we have shown that H3K9 methylation clearly marks the murine inactive X chromosome. The role of this mark is most apparent during the establishment phase of gene silencing, with a more muted effect on maintenance of the silent state. Based on our data, we hypothesise that Setdb1-mediated H3K9 methylation plays a role in epigenetic silencing of the inactive X via silencing of the repeats, which itself facilitates gene silencing through alterations to the conformation of the whole inactive X chromosome.