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Journal Article

H3K9me3-heterochromatin loss at protein-coding genes enables developmental lineage specification

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Montavon,  Thomas
Department of Epigenetics, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Jenuwein,  Thomas
Department of Epigenetics, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Nicetto, D., Donahue, G., Jain, T., Peng, T., Sidoli, S., Sheng, L., et al. (2019). H3K9me3-heterochromatin loss at protein-coding genes enables developmental lineage specification. Science, 363, 294-297. doi:10.1126/science.aau0583.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-6E4C-E
Abstract
Gene silencing by chromatin compaction is integral to establishing and maintaining cell fates. Trimethylated histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9me3)-marked heterochromatin is reduced in embryonic stem cells compared to differentiated cells. However, the establishment and dynamics of closed regions of chromatin at protein-coding genes, in embryologic development, remain elusive. We developed an antibody-independent method to isolate and map compacted heterochromatin from low-cell number samples. We discovered high levels of compacted heterochromatin, H3K9me3-decorated, at protein-coding genes in early, uncommitted cells at the germ-layer stage, undergoing profound rearrangements and reduction upon differentiation, concomitant with cell type-specific gene expression. Perturbation of the three H3K9me3-related methyltransferases revealed a pivotal role for H3K9me3 heterochromatin during lineage commitment at the onset of organogenesis and for lineage fidelity maintenance.