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Cell Rep. 2014 Oct 23;9(2):443-50. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.09.018. Epub 2014 Oct 11.

The SET-2/SET1 histone H3K4 methyltransferase maintains pluripotency in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, CNRS, Université de Lyon 1, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France.
2
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, 4058 Basel, Switzerland.
3
Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, CNRS, Université de Lyon 1, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France. Electronic address: francesca.palladino@ens-lyon.fr.

Abstract

Histone H3 Lys 4 methylation (H3K4me) is deposited by the conserved SET1/MLL methyltransferases acting in multiprotein complexes, including Ash2 and Wdr5. Although individual subunits contribute to complex activity, how they influence gene expression in specific tissues remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, SET-2/SET1, WDR-5.1, and ASH-2 are differentially required for germline H3K4 methylation. Using expression profiling on germlines from animals lacking set-2, ash-2, or wdr-5.1, we show that these subunits play unique as well as redundant functions in order to promote expression of germline genes and repress somatic genes. Furthermore, we show that in set-2- and wdr-5.1-deficient germlines, somatic gene misexpression is associated with conversion of germ cells into somatic cells and that nuclear RNAi acts in parallel with SET-2 and WDR-5.1 to maintain germline identity. These findings uncover a unique role for SET-2 and WDR-5.1 in preserving germline pluripotency and underline the complexity of the cellular network regulating this process.

PMID:
25310986
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2014.09.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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