The long non-coding RNA Kcnq1ot1 controls maternal p57 expression in muscle cells by promoting H3K27me3 accumulation to an intragenic MyoD-binding region.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The cell-cycle inhibitor p57kip2 plays a critical role in mammalian development by coordinating cell proliferation and differentiation in many cell types. p57kip2 expression is finely regulated by several epigenetic mechanisms, including paternal imprinting. Kcnq1ot1, a long non-coding RNA (LncRNA), whose gene maps to the p57Kip2 imprinting domain, is expressed exclusively from the paternal allele and participates in the cis-silencing of the neighboring imprinted genes through chromatin-level regulation. In light of our previous evidence of a functional interaction between myogenic factors and imprinting control elements in the regulation of the maternal p57Kip2 allele during muscle differentiation, we examined the possibility that also Kcnq1ot1 could play an imprinting-independent role in the control of p57Kip2 expression in muscle cells. RESULTS:We found that Kcnq1ot1 depletion by siRNA causes the upregulation of the maternal and functional p57Kip2 allele during differentiation, suggesting a previously undisclosed role for this LncRNA. Consistently, Chromatin Oligo-affinity Precipitation assays showed that Kcnq1ot1 physically interacts not only with the paternal imprinting control region of the locus, as already known, but also with both maternal and paternal alleles of a novel p57Kip2 regulatory region, located intragenically and containing two binding sites for the muscle-specific factor MyoD. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays after Kcnq1ot1 depletion demonstrated that the LncRNA is required for the accumulation of H3K27me3, a chromatin modification catalyzed by the histone-methyl-transferase EZH2, at the maternal p57kip2 intragenic region. Finally, upon differentiation, the binding of MyoD to this region and its physical interaction with Kcnq1ot1, analyzed by ChIP and RNA immunoprecipitation assays, correlate with the loss of EZH2 and H3K27me3 from chromatin and with p57Kip2 de-repression. CONCLUSIONS:These findings highlight the existence of an imprinting-independent role of Kcnq1ot1, adding new insights into the biology of a still mysterious LncRNA. Moreover, they expand our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying the tight and fine regulation of p57Kip2 during differentiation and, possibly, its aberrant silencing observed in several pathologic conditions.
Project description:The bHLH transcription factor MyoD, the prototypical master regulator of differentiation, directs a complex program of gene expression during skeletal myogenesis. The up-regulation of the cdk inhibitor p57kip2 plays a critical role in coordinating differentiation and growth arrest during muscle development, as well as in other tissues. p57kip2 displays a highly specific expression pattern and is subject to a complex epigenetic control driving the imprinting of the paternal allele. However, the regulatory mechanisms governing its expression during development are still poorly understood. We have identified an unexpected mechanism by which MyoD regulates p57kip2 transcription in differentiating muscle cells. We show that the induction of p57kip2 requires MyoD binding to a long-distance element located within the imprinting control region KvDMR1 and the consequent release of a chromatin loop involving p57kip2 promoter. We also show that differentiation-dependent regulation of p57kip2, while involving a region implicated in the imprinting process, is distinct and hierarchically subordinated to the imprinting control. These findings highlight a novel mechanism, involving the modification of higher order chromatin structures, by which MyoD regulates gene expression. Our results also suggest that chromatin folding mediated by KvDMR1 could account for the highly restricted expression of p57kip2 during development and, possibly, for its aberrant silencing in some pathologies.
Project description:Kcnq1ot1 is a long noncoding ribonucleic acid (RNA; lncRNA) that participates in the regulation of genes within the Kcnq1 imprinting domain. Using a novel RNA-guided chromatin conformation capture method, we demonstrate that the 5' region of Kcnq1ot1 RNA orchestrates a long-range intrachromosomal loop between KvDMR1 and the Kcnq1 promoter that is required for maintenance of imprinting. PRC2 (polycomb repressive complex 2), which participates in the allelic repression of Kcnq1, is also recruited by Kcnq1ot1 RNA via EZH2. Targeted suppression of Kcnq1ot1 lncRNA prevents the creation of this long-range intrachromosomal loop and causes loss of Kcnq1 imprinting. These observations delineate a novel mechanism by which an lncRNA directly builds an intrachromosomal interaction complex to establish allele-specific transcriptional gene silencing over a large chromosomal domain.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is a phenomenon that restricts transcription to predominantly one parental allele. How this transcriptional duality is regulated is poorly understood. Here we perform an RNA interference screen for epigenetic factors involved in paternal allelic silencing at the Kcnq1ot1 imprinted domain in mouse extraembryonic endoderm stem cells. Multiple factors are identified, including nucleoporin 107 (NUP107). To determine NUP107's role and specificity in Kcnq1ot1 imprinted domain regulation, we deplete Nup107, as well as Nup62, Nup98/96 and Nup153. Nup107, Nup62 and Nup153, but not Nup98/96 depletion, reduce Kcnq1ot1 noncoding RNA volume, displace the Kcnq1ot1 domain from the nuclear periphery, reactivate a subset of normally silent paternal alleles in the domain, alter histone modifications with concomitant changes in KMT2A, EZH2 and EHMT2 occupancy, as well as reduce cohesin interactions at the Kcnq1ot1 imprinting control region. Our results establish an important role for specific nucleoporins in mediating Kcnq1ot1 imprinted domain regulation.
Project description:Although many of the questions raised by the discovery of imprinting have been answered, we have not yet accounted for tissue- or stage-specific imprinting. The Kcnq1 imprinted domain exhibits complex tissue-specific expression patterns co-existing with a domain-wide cis-acting control element. Transcription of the paternally expressed antisense non-coding RNA Kcnq1ot1 silences some neighboring genes in the embryo, while others are unaffected. Kcnq1 is imprinted in early cardiac development but becomes biallelic after midgestation. To explore this phenomenon and the role of Kcnq1ot1, we used allele-specific assays and chromosome conformational studies in wild-type mice and mice with a premature termination mutation for Kcnq1ot1. We show that Kcnq1 imprinting in early heart is established and maintained independently of Kcnq1ot1 expression, thus excluding a role for Kcnq1ot1 in repressing Kcnq1, even while silencing other genes in the domain. The exact timing of the mono- to biallelic transition is strain-dependent, with the CAST/EiJ allele becoming activated earlier and acquiring higher levels than the C57BL/6J allele. Unexpectedly, Kcnq1ot1 itself also switches to biallelic expression specifically in the heart, suggesting that tissue-specific loss of imprinting may be common during embryogenesis. The maternal Kcnq1ot1 transcript is shorter than the paternal ncRNA, and its activation depends on an alternative transcriptional start site that bypasses the maternally methylated promoter. Production of Kcnq1ot1 on the maternal chromosome does not silence Cdkn1c. We find that in later developmental stages, however, Kcnq1ot1 has a role in modulating Kcnq1 levels, since its absence leads to overexpression of Kcnq1, an event accompanied by an aberrant three-dimensional structure of the chromatin. Thus, our studies reveal regulatory mechanisms within the Kcnq1 imprinted domain that operate exclusively in the heart on Kcnq1, a gene crucial for heart development and function. We also uncover a novel mechanism by which an antisense non-coding RNA affects transcription through regulating chromatin flexibility and access to enhancers.
Project description:Loss of genomic imprinting is involved in a number of developmental abnormalities and cancers. ZAC is an imprinted gene expressed from the paternal allele of chromosome 6q24 within a region known to harbor a tumor suppressor gene for several types of neoplasia. p57(KIP2) (CDKN1C) is a maternally expressed gene located on chromosome 11p15.5 which encodes a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that may also act as a tumor suppressor gene. Mutations in ZAC and p57KIP2 have been implicated in transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDB) and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, respectively. Patients with these diseases share many characteristics. Here we show that mouse Zac1 and p57Kip2 have a strikingly similar expression pattern. ZAC, a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein, binds within the CpG island of LIT1 (KCNQ1OT1), a paternally expressed, anti-sense RNA thought to negatively regulate p57(KIP2) in cis. ZAC induces LIT1 transcription in a methylation-dependent manner. Our data suggest that ZAC may regulate p57(KIP2) through LIT1, forming part of a novel signaling pathway regulating cell growth. Mutations in ZAC may, therefore, contribute to Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. Furthermore, we find changes in DNA methylation at the LIT1 putative imprinting control region in two patients with TNDB.
Project description:Several imprinted genes have been implicated in the process of placentation. The distal region of mouse chromosome 7 (Chr 7) contains at least ten imprinted genes, several of which are expressed from the maternal homologue in the placenta. The corresponding paternal alleles of these genes are silenced in cis by an incompletely understood mechanism involving the formation of a repressive nuclear compartment mediated by the long non-coding RNA Kcnq1ot1 initiated from imprinting centre 2 (IC2). However, it is unknown whether some maternally expressed genes are silenced on the paternal homologue via a Kcnq1ot1-independent mechanism. We have previously reported that maternal inheritance of a large truncation of Chr7 encompassing the entire IC2-regulated domain (DelTel7 allele) leads to embryonic lethality at mid-gestation accompanied by severe placental abnormalities. Kcnq1ot1 expression can be abolished on the paternal chromosome by deleting IC2 (IC2KO allele). When the IC2KO mutation is paternally inherited, epigenetic silencing is lost in the region and the DelTel7 lethality is rescued in compound heterozygotes, leading to viable DelTel7/IC2KO mice.Considering the important functions of several IC2-regulated genes in placentation, we set out to determine whether these DelTel7/IC2KO rescued conceptuses develop normal placentae. We report no abnormalities with respect to the architecture and vasculature of the DelTel7/IC2KO rescued placentae. Imprinted expression of several of the IC2-regulated genes critical to placentation is also faithfully recapitulated in DelTel7/IC2KO placentae.Taken together, our results demonstrate that all the distal chromosome 7 imprinted genes implicated in placental function are silenced by IC2 and Kcnq1ot1 on the paternal allele. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the methylated maternal IC2 is not required for the regulation of nearby genes. The results show the potential for fully rescuing LQ trans placental abnormalities that are caused by imprinting defects.
Project description:The imprinted Kcnq1 domain contains a differentially methylated region (KvDMR) in intron 11 of Kcnq1. The Kcnq1ot1 non-coding RNA emerges from the unmethylated paternal KvDMR in antisense direction, resulting in cis-repression of neighboring genes. The KvDMR encompasses the Kcnq1ot1 promoter, CTCF sites and other DNA elements, whose individual contribution to regulation of the endogenous domain is unknown. We find that paternal inheritance of a deletion of the minimal Kcnq1ot1 promoter derepresses the upstream Cdkn1c gene. Surprisingly, Kcnq1ot1 transcripts continue to emerge from alternative sites, evidence that silencing depends, not on the ncRNA, but on the promoter sequence. Detailed analyses of Kcnq1ot during cardiogenesis show substantial chromatin reorganization coinciding with discontinuous RNA production in both wild-type and mutant mice, with loss of imprinting. We show that CTCF binds to both methylated and unmethylated alleles of the KvDMR. Furthermore, we report a multitude of enhancers within the Kcnq1ot1 region, and present conformational dynamics of a novel heart enhancer engaged in Kcnq1 expression. Our results have important implications on tissue-specific imprinting patterns and how transcriptional mechanisms compete to maximize the expression of vital genes, in addition to shifting our perception on the role of the long ncRNA in regulating this imprinted domain.
Project description:To understand the complex regulation of genomic imprinting it is important to determine how early embryos establish imprinted gene expression across large chromosomal domains. Long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been associated with the regulation of imprinting domains, yet their function remains undefined. Here, we investigated the mouse Kcnq1ot1 ncRNA and its role in imprinted gene regulation during preimplantation development by utilizing mouse embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cell models. Our findings demonstrate that the Kcnq1ot1 ncRNA extends 471 kb from the transcription start site. This is significant as it raises the possibility that transcription through downstream genes might play a role in their silencing, including Th, which we demonstrate possesses maternal-specific expression during early development. To distinguish between a functional role for the transcript and properties inherent to transcription of long ncRNAs, we employed RNA interference-based technology to deplete Kcnq1ot1 transcripts. We hypothesized that post-transcriptional depletion of Kcnq1ot1 ncRNA would lead to activation of normally maternal-specific protein-coding genes on the paternal chromosome. Post-transcriptional short hairpin RNA-mediated depletion in embryonic stem, trophoblast stem and extra-embryonic endoderm stem cells had no observable effect on the imprinted expression of genes within the domain, or on Kcnq1ot1 imprinting center DNA methylation, although a significant decrease in Kcnq1ot1 RNA signal volume in the nucleus was observed. These data support the argument that it is the act of transcription that plays a role in imprint maintenance during early development rather than a post-transcriptional role for the RNA itself.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as critical epigenetic regulators and play important roles in cardiac development and congenital heart disease. In a previous study, we identified a novel lncRNA, Ppp1r1b, with expression highly correlated with myogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism that underlies Ppp1r1b-lncRNA function in myogenic regulation is unknown. By silencing Ppp1r1b-lncRNA, mouse C2C12 and human skeletal myoblasts failed to develop fully differentiated myotubes. Myogenic differentiation was also impaired in PPP1R1B-lncRNA deficient human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSCs-CMs). The expression of myogenic transcription factors, including MyoD, Myogenin, and Tbx5, as well as sarcomere proteins, was significantly suppressed in Ppp1r1b-lncRNA inhibited myoblast cells and neonatal mouse heart. Histone modification analysis revealed increased H3K27 tri-methylation at MyoD1 and Myogenin promoters in GapmeR treated C2C12 cells. Furthermore, Ppp1r1b-lncRNA was found to bind to Ezh2, and chromatin isolation by RNA purification (ChIRP) assay revealed enriched interaction of Ppp1r1b-lncRNA with Myod1 and Tbx5 promoters, suggesting that Ppp1r1b-lncRNA induces transcription of myogenic transcription factors by interacting with the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) at the chromatin interface. Correspondingly, the silencing of Ppp1r1b-lncRNA increased EZH2 binding at promoter regions of myogenic transcription factors. Therefore, our results suggest that Ppp1r1b-lncRNA promotes myogenic differentiation through competing for PRC2 binding with chromatin of myogenic master regulators during heart and skeletal muscle development.
Project description:The cdk inhibitor p57kip2, encoded by the Cdkn1c gene, plays a critical role in mammalian development and in the differentiation of several tissues. Cdkn1c protein levels are carefully regulated via imprinting and other epigenetic mechanisms affecting both the promoter and distant regulatory elements, which restrict its expression to particular developmental phases or specific cell types. Inappropriate activation of these regulatory mechanisms leads to Cdkn1c silencing, causing growth disorders and cancer. We have previously reported that, in skeletal muscle cells, induction of Cdkn1c expression requires the binding of the bHLH myogenic factor MyoD to a long-distance regulatory element within the imprinting control region KvDMR1. Interestingly, MyoD binding to KvDMR1 is prevented in myogenic cell types refractory to the induction of Cdkn1c. In the present work, we took advantage of this model system to investigate the epigenetic determinants of the differential interaction of MyoD with KvDMR1. We show that treatment with the DNA demethylating agent 5-azacytidine restores the binding of MyoD to KvDMR1 in cells unresponsive to Cdkn1c induction. This, in turn, promotes the release of a repressive chromatin loop between KvDMR1 and Cdkn1c promoter and, thus, the upregulation of the gene. Analysis of the chromatin status of Cdkn1c promoter and KvDMR1 in unresponsive compared to responsive cell types showed that their differential responsiveness to the MyoD-dependent induction of the gene does not involve just their methylation status but, rather, the differential H3 lysine 9 dimethylation at KvDMR1. Finally, we report that the same histone modification also marks the KvDMR1 region of human cancer cells in which Cdkn1c is silenced. On the basis of these results, we suggest that the epigenetic status of KvDMR1 represents a critical determinant of the cell type-restricted expression of Cdkn1c and, possibly, of its aberrant silencing in some pathological conditions.