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Science. 2020 Feb 21;367(6480):870-874. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw2601.

Vertebrate diapause preserves organisms long term through Polycomb complex members.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.
4
Department of Medical Genetics, Life Sciences Institute, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z3, Canada.
5
Graduate Program of Genetics, Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
6
Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. abrunet1@stanford.edu.
7
Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Diapause is a state of suspended development that helps organisms survive extreme environments. How diapause protects living organisms is largely unknown. Using the African turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri), we show that diapause preserves complex organisms for extremely long periods of time without trade-offs for subsequent adult growth, fertility, and life span. Transcriptome analyses indicate that diapause is an active state, with dynamic regulation of metabolism and organ development genes. The most up-regulated genes in diapause include Polycomb complex members. The chromatin mark regulated by Polycomb, H3K27me3, is maintained at key developmental genes in diapause, and the Polycomb member CBX7 mediates repression of metabolism and muscle genes in diapause. CBX7 is functionally required for muscle preservation and diapause maintenance. Thus, vertebrate diapause is a state of suspended life that is actively maintained by specific chromatin regulators, and this has implications for long-term organism preservation.

Comment in

PMID:
32079766
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaw2601

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