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A Prion-like Domain in Transcription Factor EBF1 Promotes Phase Separation and Enables B Cell Programming of Progenitor Chromatin

MPS-Authors

Wang,  Yuanting
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

Zolotarev,  Nikolay
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

Yang,  Cheng-Yuan
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rambold,  Angelika
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Mittler,  Gerhard
Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Grosschedl,  Rudolf
Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wang, Y., Zolotarev, N., Yang, C.-Y., Rambold, A., Mittler, G., & Grosschedl, R. (2020). A Prion-like Domain in Transcription Factor EBF1 Promotes Phase Separation and Enables B Cell Programming of Progenitor Chromatin. Immunity, 53, 1-17. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2020.10.009.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-7134-F
Abstract
Establishment of B-lineage-specific gene expression requires the binding of transcription factors to inaccessible chromatin of progenitors. The transcription factor EBF1 can bind genomic regions prior to the detection of chromatin accessibility in a manner dependent on EBF1's C-terminal domain (CTD) and independent of cooperating transcription factors. Here, we studied the mechanism whereby the CTD enables this pioneering function. The CTD of EBF1 was dispensable for initial chromatin targeting but stabilized occupancy via recruitment of the chromatin remodeler Brg1. We found that the CTD harbors a prion-like domain (PLD) with an ability of liquid-liquid phase separation, which was enhanced by interaction of EBF1 with the RNA-binding protein FUS. Brg1 also partitioned into phase-separated FUS condensates and coincided with EBF1 and FUS foci in pro-B cells. Heterologous PLDs conferred pioneering function on EBF1ΔCTD. Thus, the phase separation ability of EBF1 facilitates Brg1-mediated chromatin opening and the transition of naive progenitor chromatin to B-lineage-committed chromatin.