The Proportion of Chromatin Graded between Closed and Open States Determines the Level of Transcripts Derived from Distinct Promoters in the CYP19 Gene.
ABSTRACT: The human CYP19 gene encodes aromatase, which converts androgens to estrogens. CYP19 mRNA variants are transcribed mainly from three promoters. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure the relative amounts of each of the three transcripts and determine the on/off state of the promoters. While some of the promoters were silent, CYP19 mRNA production differed among the other promoters, whose estimated transcription levels were 0.001% to 0.1% of that of the TUBB control gene. To investigate the structural aspects of chromatin that were responsible for this wide range of activity of the CYP19 promoters, we used a fractionation protocol, designated SEVENS, which sequentially separates densely packed nucleosomes from dispersed nucleosomes. The fractional distribution of each inactive promoter showed a similar pattern to that of the repressed reference loci; the inactive regions were distributed toward lower fractions, in which closed chromatin comprising packed nucleosomes was enriched. In contrast, active CYP19 promoters were raised toward upper fractions, including dispersed nucleosomes in open chromatin. Importantly, these active promoters were moderately enriched in the upper fractions as compared to active reference loci, such as the TUBB promoter; the proportion of open chromatin appeared to be positively correlated to the promoter strength. These results, together with ectopic transcription accompanied by an increase in the proportion of open chromatin in cells treated with an H3K27me inhibitor, indicate that CYP19 mRNA could be transcribed from a promoter in which chromatin is shifted toward an open state in the equilibrium between closed and open chromatin.
Project description:Antisense transcription is a prevalent feature at mammalian promoters. Previous studies have primarily focused on antisense transcription initiating upstream of genes. Here, we characterize promoter-proximal antisense transcription downstream of gene transcription starts sites in human breast cancer cells, investigating the genomic context of downstream antisense transcription. We find extensive correlations between antisense transcription and features associated with the chromatin environment at gene promoters. Antisense transcription downstream of promoters is widespread, with antisense transcription initiation observed within 2 kb of 28% of gene transcription start sites. Antisense transcription initiates between nucleosomes regularly positioned downstream of these promoters. The nucleosomes between gene and downstream antisense transcription start sites carry histone modifications associated with active promoters, such as H3K4me3 and H3K27ac. This region is bound by chromatin remodeling and histone modifying complexes including SWI/SNF subunits and HDACs, suggesting that antisense transcription or resulting RNA transcripts contribute to the creation and maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment. Downstream antisense transcription overlays additional regulatory features, such as transcription factor binding, DNA accessibility, and the downstream edge of promoter-associated CpG islands. These features suggest an important role for antisense transcription in the regulation of gene expression and the maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment.
Project description:Aromatase (CYP19) is a key enzyme in estrogens biosynthesis. In the mammary gland, CYP19 gene is expressed at low levels under the regulation of its I.4 promoter. In hormone-dependent breast cancer, fibroblast cells surrounding the tumor express increased levels of CYP19 mRNA due to a decrease of I.4 promoter activity and an increase of PII, I.3, and I.7 promoter activity. Little is known about the effects of environmental chemicals on the promoter-specific CYP19 expression.We aimed to determine the effects of two neonicotinoids (thiacloprid and imidacloprid) on promoter-specific CYP19 expression in Hs578t breast cancer cells and understand the signaling pathways involved.Hs578t cells were exposed to various signaling pathway stimulants or neonicotinoids for 24 h. Promoter-specific expression of CYP19 was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and catalytic activity of aromatase by tritiated water release assay.To our knowledge, we are the first to demonstrate that the normal I.4 promoter and the breast cancer-relevant PII, I.3, and I.7 promoters of CYP19 are active in these cells. We found that the expression of CYP19 via promoters PII, I.3, and I.7 in Hs578t cells was, in part, dependent on the activation of two VEGF signaling pathways: mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) 1/3 and phospholipase C (PLC). Exposure of Hs578t cells to environmental concentrations of imidacloprid and thiacloprid resulted in a switch in CYP19 promoter usage, involving inhibition of I.4 promoter activity and an increase of PII, I.3, and I.7 promoter-mediated CYP19 expression and aromatase catalytic activity. Greater effects were seen at lower concentrations. Our results suggest that thiacloprid and imidacloprid exert their effects at least partially by inducing the MAPK 1/3 and/or PLC pathways.We demonstrated in vitro that neonicotinoids may stimulate a change in CYP19 promoter usage similar to that observed in patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2698.
Project description:Nucleosome positioning and histone modification play a critical role in gene regulation, but their role during reprogramming has not been fully elucidated. Here, we determined the genome-wide nucleosome coverage and histone methylation occupancy in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and pre-iPSCs. We found that nucleosome occupancy increases in promoter regions and decreases in intergenic regions in pre-iPSCs, then recovers to an intermediate level in iPSCs. We also found that nucleosomes in pre-iPSCs are much more phased than those in MEFs and iPSCs. During reprogramming, nucleosome reorganization and histone methylation around transcription start sites (TSSs) are highly coordinated with distinctively transcriptional activities. Bivalent promoters gradually increase, while repressive promoters gradually decrease. High CpG (HCG) promoters of active genes are characterized by nucleosome depletion at TSSs, while low CpG (LCG) promoters exhibit the opposite characteristics. In addition, we show that vitamin C (VC) promotes reorganizations of canonical, H3K4me3- and H3K27me3-modified nucleosomes on specific genes during transition from pre-iPSCs to iPSCs. These data demonstrate that pre-iPSCs have a more open and phased chromatin architecture than that of MEFs and iPSCs. Finally, this study reveals the dynamics and critical roles of nucleosome positioning and chromatin organization in gene regulation during reprogramming.
Project description:Eukaryotic genomes are packaged into nucleosomes that occlude DNA from interacting with most DNA-binding proteins. Nucleosome positioning and chromatin organization is critical for gene regulation. We have investigated the mechanism by which nucleosomes are positioned at the promoters of active and silent rRNA genes (rDNA). The reconstitution of nucleosomes on rDNA results in sequence-dependent nucleosome positioning at the rDNA promoter that mimics the chromatin structure of silent rRNA genes in vivo, suggesting that active mechanisms are required to reorganize chromatin structure upon gene activation. Nucleosomes are excluded from positions observed at active rRNA genes, resulting in transcriptional repression on chromatin. We suggest that the repressed state is the default chromatin organization of the rDNA and gene activation requires ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling activities that move the promoter-bound nucleosome about 22-bp upstream. We suggest that nucleosome remodelling precedes promoter-dependent transcriptional activation as specific inhibition of ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling suppresses the initiation of RNA Polymerase I transcription in vitro. Once initiated, RNA Polymerase I is capable of elongating through reconstituted chromatin without apparent displacement of the nucleosomes. The results reveal the functional cooperation of DNA sequence and chromatin remodelling complexes in nucleosome positioning and in establishing the epigenetic active or silent state of rRNA genes.
Project description:Metazoan transcription is controlled through either coordinated recruitment of transcription machinery to the gene promoter or regulated pausing of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) in early elongation. We report that a striking difference between genes that use these distinct regulatory strategies lies in the "default" chromatin architecture specified by their DNA sequences. Pol II pausing is prominent at highly regulated genes whose sequences inherently disfavor nucleosome formation within the gene but favor occlusion of the promoter by nucleosomes. In contrast, housekeeping genes that lack pronounced Pol II pausing show higher nucleosome occupancy downstream, but their promoters are deprived of nucleosomes regardless of polymerase binding. Our results indicate that a key role of paused Pol II is to compete with nucleosomes for occupancy of highly regulated promoters, thereby preventing the formation of repressive chromatin architecture to facilitate further or future gene activation.
Project description:During transcription, nucleosomes are evicted from regulatory and coding regions yet chromatin structure is stable. Restoration of chromatin structure involves concerted action of chromatin modifying activities. Our analysis demonstrates a genome wide function of the INO80 remodeling complex for stable repositioning of the nucleosome immediately proximal to the transcription initiation site. INO80 dependent remodeling of the promoter proximal nucleosomes has a global repressive role. Recruitment of INO80 to proximal nucleosomes overlaps with the elongating Polymerase II complex assembly. The amount of associated Polymerase II at start sites correlates with INO80 recruitment for inducible and constantly transcribed genes. Furthermore, at highly inducible promoters INO80 is required for repression of bidirectional transcription. Therefore, we suggest a function for INO80 after transcription initiation to achieve Polymerase II dependent reassembly of promoter proximal nucleosomes.
Project description:Nuclear DNA wraps around core histones to form nucleosomes, which restricts the binding of transcription factors to gene regulatory sequences. Pioneer transcription factors can bind DNA sites on nucleosomes and initiate gene regulatory events, often leading to the local opening of chromatin. However, the nucleosomal configuration of open chromatin and the basis for its regulation is unclear. We combined low and high levels of micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion along with core histone mapping to assess the nucleosomal configuration at enhancers and promoters in mouse liver. We find that MNase-accessible nucleosomes, bound by transcription factors, are retained more at liver-specific enhancers than at promoters and ubiquitous enhancers. The pioneer factor FoxA displaces linker histone H1, thereby keeping enhancer nucleosomes accessible in chromatin and allowing other liver-specific transcription factors to bind and stimulate transcription. Thus, nucleosomes are not exclusively repressive to gene regulation when they are retained with, and exposed by, pioneer factors.
Project description:Purified chromatin rings, excised from the PHO5 locus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in transcriptionally repressed and activated states, were remodeled with RSC and ATP. Nucleosomes were translocated, and those originating on the promoter of repressed rings were removed, whereas those originating on the open reading frame (ORF) were retained. Treatment of the repressed rings with histone deacetylase diminished the removal of promoter nucleosomes. These findings point to a principle of promoter chromatin remodeling for transcription, namely that promoter specificity resides primarily in the nucleosomes rather than in the remodeling complex that acts upon them.
Project description:Spt6 is a transcriptional elongation factor and histone chaperone that reassembles transcribed chromatin. Genome-wide H3 mapping showed that Spt6 preferentially maintains nucleosomes within the first 500 bases of genes and helps define nucleosome-depleted regions in 5' and 3' flanking sequences. In Spt6-depleted cells, H3 loss at 5' ends correlates with reduced pol II density suggesting enhanced transcription elongation. Consistent with its 'Suppressor of Ty' (Spt) phenotype, Spt6 inactivation caused localized H3 eviction over 1-2 nucleosomes at 5' ends of Ty elements. H3 displacement differed between genes driven by promoters with 'open'/DPN and 'closed'/OPN chromatin conformations with similar pol II densities. More eviction occurred on genes with 'closed' promoters, associated with 'noisy' transcription. Moreover, swapping of 'open' and 'closed' promoters showed that they can specify distinct downstream patterns of histone eviction/deposition. These observations suggest a novel function for promoters in dictating histone dynamics within genes possibly through effects on transcriptional bursting or elongation rate.
Project description:The chromatin architecture of eukaryotic gene promoters is generally characterized by a nucleosome-free region (NFR) flanked by at least one H2A.Z variant nucleosome. Computational predictions of nucleosome positions based on thermodynamic properties of DNA-histone interactions have met with limited success. Here we show that the action of the essential RSC remodeling complex in S. cerevisiae helps explain the discrepancy between theory and experiment. In RSC-depleted cells, NFRs shrink such that the average positions of flanking nucleosomes move toward predicted sites. Nucleosome positioning at distinct subsets of promoters additionally requires the essential Myb family proteins Abf1 and Reb1, whose binding sites are enriched in NFRs. In contrast, H2A.Z deposition is dispensable for nucleosome positioning. By regulating H2A.Z deposition using a steroid-inducible protein splicing strategy, we show that NFR establishment is necessary for H2A.Z deposition. These studies suggest an ordered pathway for the assembly of promoter chromatin architecture.