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Genes Dev. 2012 Apr 15;26(8):857-71. doi: 10.1101/gad.184648.111.

In vivo Polycomb kinetics and mitotic chromatin binding distinguish stem cells from differentiated cells.

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1
Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Epigenetic memory mediated by Polycomb group (PcG) proteins must be maintained during cell division, but must also be flexible to allow cell fate transitions. Here we quantify dynamic chromatin-binding properties of PH::GFP and PC::GFP in living Drosophila in two cell types that undergo defined differentiation and mitosis events. Quantitative fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis demonstrates that PcG binding has a higher plasticity in stem cells than in more determined cells and identifies a fraction of PcG proteins that binds mitotic chromatin with up to 300-fold longer residence times than in interphase. Mathematical modeling examines which parameters best distinguish stem cells from differentiated cells. We identify phosphorylation of histone H3 at Ser 28 as a potential mechanism governing the extent and rate of mitotic PC dissociation in different lineages. We propose that regulation of the kinetic properties of PcG-chromatin binding is an essential factor in the choice between stability and flexibility in the establishment of cell identities.

PMID:
22508729
PMCID:
PMC3337459
DOI:
10.1101/gad.184648.111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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