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PLoS Genet. 2012;8(11):e1003061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003061. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

HP1a recruitment to promoters is independent of H3K9 methylation in Drosophila melanogaster.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

Heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) proteins, recognized readers of the heterochromatin mark methylation of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9me), are important regulators of heterochromatin-mediated gene silencing and chromosome structure. In Drosophila melanogaster three histone lysine methyl transferases (HKMTs) are associated with the methylation of H3K9: Su(var)3-9, Setdb1, and G9a. To probe the dependence of HP1a binding on H3K9me, its dependence on these three HKMTs, and the division of labor between the HKMTs, we have examined correlations between HP1a binding and H3K9me patterns in wild type and null mutants of these HKMTs. We show here that Su(var)3-9 controls H3K9me-dependent binding of HP1a in pericentromeric regions, while Setdb1 controls it in cytological region 2L:31 and (together with POF) in chromosome 4. HP1a binds to the promoters and within bodies of active genes in these three regions. More importantly, however, HP1a binding at promoters of active genes is independent of H3K9me and POF. Rather, it is associated with heterochromatin protein 2 (HP2) and open chromatin. Our results support a hypothesis in which HP1a nucleates with high affinity independently of H3K9me in promoters of active genes and then spreads via H3K9 methylation and transient looping contacts with those H3K9me target sites.

PMID:
23166515
PMCID:
PMC3499360
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1003061
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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