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PLoS Genet. 2010 Oct 7;6(10). pii: e1001152. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001152.

H3K27me3 profiling of the endosperm implies exclusion of polycomb group protein targeting by DNA methylation.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Polycomb group (PcG) proteins act as evolutionary conserved epigenetic mediators of cell identity because they repress transcriptional programs that are not required at particular developmental stages. Each tissue is likely to have a specific epigenetic profile, which acts as a blueprint for its developmental fate. A hallmark for Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) activity is trimethylated lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3). In plants, there are distinct PRC2 complexes for vegetative and reproductive development, and it was unknown so far whether these complexes have target gene specificity. The Fertilization Independent Seed (FIS) PRC2 complex is specifically expressed in the endosperm and is required for its development; loss of FIS function causes endosperm hyperproliferation and seed abortion. The endosperm nourishes the embryo, similar to the physiological function of the placenta in mammals. We established the endosperm H3K27me3 profile and identified specific target genes of the FIS complex with functional roles in endosperm cellularization and chromatin architecture, implicating that distinct PRC2 complexes have a subset of specific target genes. Importantly, our study revealed that selected transposable elements and protein coding genes are specifically targeted by the FIS PcG complex in the endosperm, whereas these elements and genes are densely marked by DNA methylation in vegetative tissues, suggesting that DNA methylation prevents targeting by PcG proteins in vegetative tissues.

PMID:
20949070
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2951372
Free PMC Article

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