bims-crepig Biomed News
on Chromatin regulation and epigenetics in cell fate and cancer
Issue of 2022‒06‒26
seventeen papers selected by
Connor Rogerson
University of Cambridge

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jun 28. 119(26): e2201267119
      Delineating gene regulatory networks that orchestrate cell-type specification is a continuing challenge for developmental biologists. Single-cell analyses offer opportunities to address these challenges and accelerate discovery of rare cell lineage relationships and mechanisms underlying hierarchical lineage decisions. Here, we describe the molecular analysis of mouse pancreatic endocrine cell differentiation using single-cell transcriptomics, chromatin accessibility assays coupled to genetic labeling, and cytometry-based cell purification. We uncover transcription factor networks that delineate β-, α-, and δ-cell lineages. Through genomic footprint analysis, we identify transcription factor-regulatory DNA interactions governing pancreatic cell development at unprecedented resolution. Our analysis suggests that the transcription factor Neurog3 may act as a pioneer transcription factor to specify the pancreatic endocrine lineage. These findings could improve protocols to generate replacement endocrine cells from renewable sources, like stem cells, for diabetes therapy.
    Keywords:  ATAC-seq; Neurog3; pancreas; scRNA-seq
  2. Genome Biol. 2022 Jun 24. 23(1): 136
      BACKGROUND: Chromatin states and enhancers associate gene expression, cell identity and disease. Here, we systematically delineate the acute innate immune response to endotoxin in terms of human macrophage enhancer activity and contrast with endotoxin tolerance, profiling the coding and non-coding transcriptome, chromatin accessibility and epigenetic modifications.RESULTS: We describe the spectrum of enhancers under acute and tolerance conditions and the regulatory networks between these enhancers and biological processes including gene expression, splicing regulation, transcription factor binding and enhancer RNA signatures. We demonstrate that the vast majority of differentially regulated enhancers on acute stimulation are subject to tolerance and that expression quantitative trait loci, disease-risk variants and eRNAs are enriched in these regulatory regions and related to context-specific gene expression. We find enrichment for context-specific eQTL involving endotoxin response and specific infections and delineate specific differential regions informative for GWAS variants in inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis, together with a context-specific enhancer involving a bacterial infection eQTL for KLF4. We show enrichment in differential enhancers for tolerance involving transcription factors NFκB-p65, STATs and IRFs and prioritize putative causal genes directly linking genetic variants and disease risk enhancers. We further delineate similarities and differences in epigenetic landscape between stem cell-derived macrophages and primary cells and characterize the context-specific enhancer activities for key innate immune response genes KLF4, SLAMF1 and IL2RA.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates the importance of context-specific macrophage enhancers in gene regulation and utility for interpreting disease associations, providing a roadmap to link genetic variants with molecular and cellular functions.
  3. Mol Cell. 2022 Jun 10. pii: S1097-2765(22)00490-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Cancer cells are highly heterogeneous at the transcriptional level and epigenetic state. Methods to study epigenetic heterogeneity are limited in throughput and information obtained per cell. Here, we adapted cytometry by time-of-flight (CyTOF) to analyze a wide panel of histone modifications in primary tumor-derived lines of diffused intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). DIPG is a lethal glioma, driven by a histone H3 lysine 27 mutation (H3-K27M). We identified two epigenetically distinct subpopulations in DIPG, reflecting inherent heterogeneity in expression of the mutant histone. These two subpopulations are robust across tumor lines derived from different patients and show differential proliferation capacity and expression of stem cell and differentiation markers. Moreover, we demonstrate the use of these high-dimensional data to elucidate potential interactions between histone modifications and epigenetic alterations during the cell cycle. Our work establishes new concepts for the analysis of epigenetic heterogeneity in cancer that could be applied to diverse biological systems.
    Keywords:  CyTOF; DIPG; H3-K27M; cancer heterogeneity; chromatin; epigenetic heterogeneity; glioma; histone modifications; oncohistone; single-cell
  4. Genes Dev. 2022 Jun 23.
      The progeny of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) dedifferentiate in response to ISC attrition. The precise cell sources, transitional states, and chromatin remodeling behind this activity remain unclear. In the skin, stem cell recovery after injury preserves an epigenetic memory of the damage response; whether similar memories arise and persist in regenerated ISCs is not known. We addressed these questions by examining gene activity and open chromatin at the resolution of single Neurog3-labeled mouse intestinal crypt cells, hence deconstructing forward and reverse differentiation of the intestinal secretory (Sec) lineage. We show that goblet, Paneth, and enteroendocrine cells arise by multilineage priming in common precursors, followed by selective access at thousands of cell-restricted cis-elements. Selective ablation of the ISC compartment elicits speedy reversal of chromatin and transcriptional features in large fractions of precursor and mature crypt Sec cells without obligate cell cycle re-entry. ISC programs decay and reappear along a cellular continuum lacking discernible discrete interim states. In the absence of gross tissue damage, Sec cells simply reverse their forward trajectories, without invoking developmental or other extrinsic programs, and starting chromatin identities are effectively erased. These findings identify strikingly plastic molecular frameworks in assembly and regeneration of a self-renewing tissue.
    Keywords:  chromatin dynamics of dedifferentiation; intestinal secretory lineage; stem cell recovery after injury
  5. Nucleus. 2022 Dec;13(1): 194-202
      Gene transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNAPol II) is a tightly regulated process in the genomic, temporal, and spatial context. Recently, we have shown that chromatin exhibits spatially coherently moving regions over the entire nucleus, which is enhanced by transcription. Yet, it remains unclear how the mobility of RNA Pol II molecules is affected by transcription regulation and whether this response depends on the coordinated chromatin movement. We applied our Dense Flow reConstruction and Correlation method to analyze nucleus-wide coherent movements of RNA Pol II in living human cancer cells. We observe a spatially coherent movement of RNA Pol II molecules over ≈1 μm, which depends on transcriptional activity. Inducing transcription in quiescent cells decreased the coherent motion of RNA Pol II. We then quantify the spatial correlation length of RNA Pol II in the context of DNA motion. RNA Pol II and chromatin spatially coherent motions respond oppositely to transcriptional activities. Our study holds the potential of studying the chromatin environment in different nuclear processes.
    Keywords:  Live-cell imaging; Transcriptional regulation; chromatin dynamics; genome organization; quantitative imaging of RNA Pol II
  6. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 24. 13(1): 3624
      The precise regulation of RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcription after genotoxic stress is crucial for proper execution of the DNA damage-induced stress response. While stalling of Pol II on transcription-blocking lesions (TBLs) blocks transcript elongation and initiates DNA repair in cis, TBLs additionally elicit a response in trans that regulates transcription genome-wide. Here we uncover that, after an initial elongation block in cis, TBLs trigger the genome-wide VCP-mediated proteasomal degradation of promoter-bound, P-Ser5-modified Pol II in trans. This degradation is mechanistically distinct from processing of TBL-stalled Pol II, is signaled via GSK3, and contributes to the TBL-induced transcription block, even in transcription-coupled repair-deficient cells. Thus, our data reveal the targeted degradation of promoter-bound Pol II as a critical pathway that allows cells to cope with DNA damage-induced transcription stress and enables the genome-wide adaptation of transcription to genotoxic stress.
  7. Genome Res. 2022 Jun 23. pii: gr.276371.121. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mediator is a conserved coregulator playing a key role in RNA polymerase (Pol) II transcription. Mediator also links transcription and nucleotide excision repair (NER) via a direct contact with Rad2/XPG endonuclease. In this work, we analyzed the genome-wide distribution of Rad26/CSB and Rad1-Rad10/XPF-ERCC1, addressing the question of a potential link of these proteins with Mediator and Pol II in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Our genomic analyses reveal that Rad1-Rad10 and Rad26 are present on the yeast genome in the absence of genotoxic stress, especially at highly transcribed regions, with Rad26 binding strongly correlating with that of Pol II. Moreover, we show that Rad1-Rad10 and Rad26 colocalize with Mediator at intergenic regions and physically interact with this complex. Using kin28 TFIIH mutant, we found that Mediator stabilization on core promoters leads to an increase in Rad1-Rad10 chromatin binding, whereas Rad26 occupancy follows mainly a decrease in Pol II transcription. Combined with multivariate analyses, our results show the relationships between Rad1-Rad10, Rad26, Mediator and Pol II, modulated by the changes in binding dynamics of Mediator and Pol II transcription. In conclusion, we extend the Mediator link to Rad1-Rad10 and Rad26 NER proteins and reveal important differences in their dependence on Mediator and Pol II. Rad2 is the most dependent on Mediator, followed by Rad1-Rad10, whereas Rad26 is the most closely related to Pol II. Our work thus contributes to new concepts of the functional interplay between transcription and DNA repair machineries, relevant for human diseases including cancer and XP/CS syndromes.
  8. Nat Immunol. 2022 Jun 20.
      The high mobility group (HMG) transcription factor TCF-1 is essential for early T cell development. Although in vitro biochemical assays suggest that HMG proteins can serve as architectural elements in the assembly of higher-order nuclear organization, the contribution of TCF-1 on the control of three-dimensional (3D) genome structures during T cell development remains unknown. Here, we investigated the role of TCF-1 in 3D genome reconfiguration. Using gain- and loss-of-function experiments, we discovered that the co-occupancy of TCF-1 and the architectural protein CTCF altered the structure of topologically associating domains in T cell progenitors, leading to interactions between previously insulated regulatory elements and target genes at late stages of T cell development. The TCF-1-dependent gain in long-range interactions was linked to deposition of active enhancer mark H3K27ac and recruitment of the cohesin-loading factor NIPBL at active enhancers. These data indicate that TCF-1 has a role in controlling global genome organization during T cell development.
  9. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 23. 13(1): 3595
      Differentiation of multipotent stem cells into mature cells is fundamental for development and homeostasis of mammalian tissues, and requires the coordinated induction of lineage-specific transcriptional programs and cell cycle withdrawal. To understand the underlying regulatory mechanisms of this fundamental process, we investigated how the tissue-specific transcription factors, CEBPA and CEBPE, coordinate cell cycle exit and lineage-specification in vivo during granulocytic differentiation. We demonstrate that CEBPA promotes lineage-specification by launching an enhancer-primed differentiation program and direct activation of CEBPE expression. Subsequently, CEBPE confers promoter-driven cell cycle exit by sequential repression of MYC target gene expression at the G1/S transition and E2F-meditated G2/M gene expression, as well as by the up-regulation of Cdk1/2/4 inhibitors. Following cell cycle exit, CEBPE unleashes the CEBPA-primed differentiation program to generate mature granulocytes. These findings highlight how tissue-specific transcription factors coordinate cell cycle exit with differentiation through the use of distinct gene regulatory elements.
  10. Nat Cell Biol. 2022 Jun 20.
      A long-established strategy for transcription regulation is the tethering of transcription factors to cellular membranes. By contrast, the principal effectors of Hedgehog signalling, the GLI transcription factors, are regulated by microtubules in the primary cilium and the cytoplasm. How GLI is tethered to microtubules remains unclear. Here, we uncover DNA mimicry by the ciliary kinesin KIF7 as a mechanism for the recruitment of GLI to microtubules, wherein the coiled-coil dimerization domain of KIF7, characterized by its striking shape, size and charge similarity to DNA, forms a complex with the DNA-binding zinc fingers in GLI, thus revealing a mode of tethering a DNA-binding protein to the cytoskeleton. GLI increases KIF7 microtubule affinity and consequently modulates the localization of both proteins to microtubules and the cilium tip. Thus, the kinesin-microtubule system is not a passive GLI tether but a regulatable platform tuned by the kinesin-transcription factor interaction. We retooled this coiled-coil-based GLI-KIF7 interaction to inhibit the nuclear and cilium localization of GLI. This strategy can potentially be exploited to downregulate erroneously activated GLI in human cancers.
  11. Commun Biol. 2022 Jun 20. 5(1): 608
      Topologically associating domains (TADs) are fundamental building blocks of three dimensional genome, and organized into complex hierarchies. Identifying hierarchical TADs on Hi-C data helps to understand the relationship between genome architectures and gene regulation. Herein we propose TADfit, a multivariate linear regression model for profiling hierarchical chromatin domains, which tries to fit the interaction frequencies in Hi-C contact matrix with and without replicates using all-possible hierarchical TADs, and the significant ones can be determined by the regression coefficients obtained with the help of an online learning solver called Follow-The-Regularized-Leader (FTRL). Beyond the existing methods, TADfit has an ability to handle multiple contact matrix replicates and find partially overlapping TADs on them, which helps to find the comprehensive underlying TADs across replicates from different experiments. The comparative results tell that TADfit has better accuracy and reproducibility, and the hierarchical TADs called by it exhibit a reasonable biological relevance.
  12. Nat Metab. 2022 Jun 20.
      Angiogenesis, the process by which endothelial cells (ECs) form new blood vessels from existing ones, is intimately linked to the tissue's metabolic milieu and often occurs at nutrient-deficient sites. However, ECs rely on sufficient metabolic resources to support growth and proliferation. How endothelial nutrient acquisition and usage are regulated is unknown. Here we show that these processes are instructed by Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP)/WW domain-containing transcription regulator 1 (WWTR1/TAZ)-transcriptional enhanced associate domain (TEAD): a transcriptional module whose function is highly responsive to changes in the tissue environment. ECs lacking YAP/TAZ or their transcriptional partners, TEAD1, 2 and 4 fail to divide, resulting in stunted vascular growth in mice. Conversely, activation of TAZ, the more abundant paralogue in ECs, boosts proliferation, leading to vascular hyperplasia. We find that YAP/TAZ promote angiogenesis by fuelling nutrient-dependent mTORC1 signalling. By orchestrating the transcription of a repertoire of cell-surface transporters, including the large neutral amino acid transporter SLC7A5, YAP/TAZ-TEAD stimulate the import of amino acids and other essential nutrients, thereby enabling mTORC1 activation. Dissociating mTORC1 from these nutrient inputs-elicited by the loss of Rag GTPases-inhibits mTORC1 activity and prevents YAP/TAZ-dependent vascular growth. Together, these findings define a pivotal role for YAP/TAZ-TEAD in controlling endothelial mTORC1 and illustrate the essentiality of coordinated nutrient fluxes in the vasculature.
  13. Cell Rep. 2022 Jun 21. pii: S2211-1247(22)00768-9. [Epub ahead of print]39(12): 110982
      Lymphangiogenesis, formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing vessels, is a dynamic process that requires cell migration. Regardless of location, migrating lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) progenitors probe their surroundings to form the lymphatic network. Lymphatic-development regulation requires the transcription factor MAFB in different species. Zebrafish Mafba, expressed in LEC progenitors, is essential for their migration in the trunk. However, the transcriptional mechanism that orchestrates LEC migration in different lymphatic endothelial beds remains elusive. Here, we uncover topographically different requirements of the two paralogs, Mafba and Mafbb, for LEC migration. Both mafba and mafbb are necessary for facial lymphatic development, but mafbb is dispensable for trunk lymphatic development. On the molecular level, we demonstrate a regulatory network where Vegfc-Vegfd-SoxF-Mafba-Mafbb is essential in facial lymphangiogenesis. We identify that mafba and mafbb tune the directionality of LEC migration and vessel morphogenesis that is ultimately necessary for lymphatic function.
    Keywords:  CP: Cell biology; CP: Developmental biology; Vegfc; Vegfr3; cell migration; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatics; mafba; mafbb
  14. Nat Commun. 2022 Jun 21. 13(1): 3550
      The epiblast is the source of all mammalian embryonic tissues and of pluripotent embryonic stem cells. It differentiates alongside the primitive endoderm in a "salt and pepper" pattern from inner cell mass (ICM) progenitors during the preimplantation stages through the activity of NANOG, GATA6 and the FGF pathway. When and how epiblast lineage specification is initiated is still unclear. Here, we show that the coordinated expression of pluripotency markers defines epiblast identity. Conversely, ICM progenitor cells display random cell-to-cell variability in expression of various pluripotency markers, remarkably dissimilar from the epiblast signature and independently from NANOG, GATA6 and FGF activities. Coordination of pluripotency markers expression fails in Nanog and Gata6 double KO (DKO) embryos. Collectively, our data suggest that NANOG triggers epiblast specification by ensuring the coordinated expression of pluripotency markers in a subset of cells, implying a stochastic mechanism. These features are likely conserved, as suggested by analysis of human embryos.
  15. EMBO J. 2022 Jun 23. e2021110271
      Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) mediate communication between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and regulate gene expression by interacting with transcription and mRNA export factors. Lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) promote transcription through acetylation of chromatin-associated proteins. We find that Esa1, the KAT subunit of the yeast NuA4 complex, also acetylates the nuclear pore basket component Nup60 to promote mRNA export. Acetylation of Nup60 recruits the mRNA export factor Sac3, the scaffolding subunit of the Transcription and Export 2 (TREX-2) complex, to the nuclear basket. The Esa1-mediated nuclear export of mRNAs in turn promotes entry into S phase, which is inhibited by the Hos3 deacetylase in G1 daughter cells to restrain their premature commitment to a new cell division cycle. This mechanism is not only limited to G1/S-expressed genes but also inhibits the expression of the nutrient-regulated GAL1 gene specifically in daughter cells. Overall, these results reveal how acetylation can contribute to the functional plasticity of NPCs in mother and daughter yeast cells. In addition, our work demonstrates dual gene expression regulation by the evolutionarily conserved NuA4 complex, at the level of transcription and at the stage of mRNA export by modifying the nucleoplasmic entrance to nuclear pores.
    Keywords:  G1-S transition; Hos3; NuA4; mRNA export; nuclear pore complex
  16. Genes Dev. 2022 Jun 23.
      Self-renewal of spermatogonial stem cells is vital to lifelong production of male gametes and thus fertility. However, the underlying mechanisms remain enigmatic. Here, we show that DOT1L, the sole H3K79 methyltransferase, is required for spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal. Mice lacking DOT1L fail to maintain spermatogonial stem cells, characterized by a sequential loss of germ cells from spermatogonia to spermatids and ultimately a Sertoli cell only syndrome. Inhibition of DOT1L reduces the stem cell activity after transplantation. DOT1L promotes expression of the fate-determining HoxC transcription factors in spermatogonial stem cells. Furthermore, H3K79me2 accumulates at HoxC9 and HoxC10 genes. Our findings identify an essential function for DOT1L in adult stem cells and provide an epigenetic paradigm for regulation of spermatogonial stem cells.
    Keywords:   histone methyltransferase; DOT1L; adult stem cell; epigenetics; self-renewal; spermatogonial stem cell; transplantation
  17. Methods Mol Biol. 2022 ;2529 253-265
      Elucidating the biological function of histone methyltransferases requires knowledge of the genomic sites at which they act. CUT&RUN represents a valuable alternative to chromatin immunoprecipitation for the mapping of histone methylation patterns, generally producing results of equivalent quality while requiring less sequencing depth, less starting material and less effort. Automated CUT&RUN procedures have been developed to further facilitate chromatin profiling. Here we describe our automated CUT&RUN protocol using the Thermo Fisher KingFisher Duo Prime system.
    Keywords:  Automated CUT&RUN; Chromatin profiling; Easy CUT&RUN; Histone methylation; KingFisher