Choi, Jaemyung; Lyons, David B; Zilberman, DanielISTA
Flowering plants utilize small RNA molecules to guide DNA methyltransferases to genomic sequences. This RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) pathway preferentially targets euchromatic transposable elements. However, RdDM is thought to be recruited by methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me), a hallmark of heterochromatin. How RdDM is targeted to euchromatin despite an affinity for H3K9me is unclear. Here we show that loss of histone H1 enhances heterochromatic RdDM, preferentially at nucleosome linker DNA. Surprisingly, this does not require SHH1, the RdDM component that binds H3K9me. Furthermore, H3K9me is dispensable for RdDM, as is CG DNA methylation. Instead, we find that non-CG methylation is specifically associated with small RNA biogenesis, and without H1 small RNA production quantitatively expands to non-CG methylated loci. Our results demonstrate that H1 enforces the separation of euchromatic and heterochromatic DNA methylation pathways by excluding the small RNA-generating branch of RdDM from non-CG methylated heterochromatin.
We thank X Feng for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by a European Research Council grant MaintainMeth (725746) to DZ.
Choi J, Lyons DB, Zilberman D. Histone H1 prevents non-CG methylation-mediated small RNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis heterochromatin. eLife. 2021;10. doi:10.7554/elife.72676
Choi, J., Lyons, D. B., & Zilberman, D. (2021). Histone H1 prevents non-CG methylation-mediated small RNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis heterochromatin. ELife. eLife Sciences Publications. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.72676
Choi, Jaemyung, David B Lyons, and Daniel Zilberman. “Histone H1 Prevents Non-CG Methylation-Mediated Small RNA Biogenesis in Arabidopsis Heterochromatin.” ELife. eLife Sciences Publications, 2021. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.72676.
J. Choi, D. B. Lyons, and D. Zilberman, “Histone H1 prevents non-CG methylation-mediated small RNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis heterochromatin,” eLife, vol. 10. eLife Sciences Publications, 2021.
Choi J, Lyons DB, Zilberman D. 2021. Histone H1 prevents non-CG methylation-mediated small RNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis heterochromatin. eLife. 10, e72676.
Choi, Jaemyung, et al. “Histone H1 Prevents Non-CG Methylation-Mediated Small RNA Biogenesis in Arabidopsis Heterochromatin.” ELife, vol. 10, e72676, eLife Sciences Publications, 2021, doi:10.7554/elife.72676.
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