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Journal Article

CHD3 Proteins and Polycomb Group Proteins Antagonistically Determine Cell Identity in Arabidopsis

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Aichinger, E., Villar, C. B. R., Farrona, S., Reyes, J. C., Hennig, L., & Köhler, C. (2009). CHD3 Proteins and Polycomb Group Proteins Antagonistically Determine Cell Identity in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genetics, 5(8): e1000605. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000605.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-F714-C
Author Summary In higher eukaryotes only a small proportion of genomic information is required in any specific cell type at a given developmental stage. The intricate decision whether a gene should be active or repressed is made by the counteractive activities of trithorax group (trxG) and Polycomb group (PcG) proteins that form part of a chromatin-based cellular memory system. Here we show that the CHD3 proteins PICKLE and PICKLE RELATED2 (PKR2) have trxG-like functions in plants and activate PcG protein target genes. Lack of PKL function can partially suppress PcG mutant leaf and flower phenotypes, supporting the idea that CHD3 proteins and PcG proteins act antagonistically during plant development. We identified PcG genes among the direct PKL/PKR2 targets in roots and demonstrated that lack of pkl pkr2 results in reduced PcG protein activities, leading to similar root phenotypes in pkl pkr2 and PcG protein mutants. Previous studies have implicated PKL as a transcriptional repressor, but we provide evidence that CHD3 proteins such as PKL and PKR2 act as transcriptional activators in plants and assume trxG-like function to counteract PcG protein–mediated gene repression.