H3K36 dimethylation shapes the epigenetic interaction landscape by directing repressive chromatin modifications in embryonic stem cells

Haifen Chen, Bo Hu, Cynthia Horth, Eric Bareke, Phillip Rosenbaum, Sin Young Kwon, Jacinthe Sirois, Daniel N. Weinberg, Faith M. Robison, Benjamin A. Garcia, Chao Lu, William A. Pastor, Jacek Majewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epigenetic modifications on the chromatin do not occur in isolation. Chromatin-associated proteins and their modification products form a highly interconnected network, and disturbing one component may rearrange the entire system. We see this increasingly clearly in epigenetically dysregulated cancers. It is important to understand the rules governing epigenetic interactions. Here, we use the mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) model to describe in detail the relationships within the H3K27-H3K36-DNA methylation subnetwork. In particular, we focus on the major epigenetic reorganization caused by deletion of the histone 3 lysine 36 methyltransferase NSD1, which in mESCs deposits nearly all of the intergenic H3K36me2. Although disturbing the H3K27 and DNA methylation (DNAme) components also affects this network to a certain extent, the removal of H3K36me2 has the most drastic effect on the epigenetic landscape, resulting in full intergenic spread of H3K27me3 and a substantial decrease in DNAme. By profiling DNMT3A and CHH methylation (mCHH), we show that H3K36me2 loss upon Nsd1-KOleads to a massive redistribution of DNMT3A and mCHH away from intergenic regions and toward active gene bodies, suggesting that DNAme reduction is at least in part caused by redistribution of de novo methylation. Additionally, we show that pervasive acetylation of H3K27 is regulated by the interplay of H3K36 and H3K27 methylation. Our analysis highlights the importance of H3K36me2 as a major determinant of the developmental epigenome and provides a framework for further consolidating our knowledge of epigenetic networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-837
Number of pages13
JournalGenome research
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

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