Maintenance of spatial gene expression by Polycomb-mediated repression after formation of a vertebrate body plan
SourceDevelopment, 146, 19, (2019), article dev178590
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectMolecular Biology; Radboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Proteomics and Chromatin Biology
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are transcriptional repressors that are important regulators of cell fate during embryonic development. Among them, Ezh2 is responsible for catalyzing the epigenetic repressive mark H3K27me3 and is essential for animal development. The ability of zebrafish embryos lacking both maternal and zygotic ezh2 to form a normal body plan provides a unique model for comprehensively studying Ezh2 function during early development in vertebrates. By using a multi-omics approach, we found that Ezh2 is required for the deposition of H3K27me3 and is essential for proper recruitment of Polycomb group protein Rnf2. However, despite the complete absence of PcG-associated epigenetic mark and proteins, only minor changes in H3K4me3 deposition and gene and protein expression occur. These changes were mainly due to local dysregulation of transcription factors outside their normal expression boundaries. Altogether, our results in zebrafish show that Polycomb-mediated gene repression is important immediately after the body plan is formed to maintain spatially restricted expression profiles of transcription factors, and we highlight the differences that exist in the timing of PcG protein action between vertebrate species.
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