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Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Histone methylation
  • Developmental delay
  • Maternal reprogramming
  • Transgenerational inheritance
  • Epigenetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • EPIGENETIC MEMORY
  • H3K4 DEMETHYLASE
  • CELL FATE
  • REPRESSION
  • SPR-5
  • HOMOLOG
  • LINEAGE
  • GROWTH
  • GENES
  • STATE

Caenorhabditis elegans establishes germline versus soma by balancing inherited histone methylation

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Journal Title:

DEVELOPMENT

Volume:

Volume 148, Number 3

Publisher:

Type of Work:

Article

Abstract:

Formation of a zygote is coupled with extensive epigenetic reprogramming to enable appropriate inheritance of histone methylation and prevent developmental delays. In Caenorhabditis elegans, this reprogramming is mediated by the H3K4me2 demethylase SPR-5 and the H3K9 methyltransferase, MET-2. In contrast, the H3K36 methyltransferase MES-4 maintains H3K36me2/3 at germline genes between generations to facilitate re-establishment of the germline. To determine whether the MES-4 germline inheritance pathway antagonizes spr-5; met-2 reprogramming, we examined the interaction between these two pathways. We found that the developmental delay of spr-5; met-2 mutant progeny is associated with ectopic H3K36me3 and the ectopic expression of MES-4-targeted germline genes in somatic tissues. Furthermore, the developmental delay is dependent uponMES-4 and theH3K4methyltransferase, SET- 2. We propose that MES-4 prevents crucial germline genes from being repressed by antagonizingmaternal spr-5;met-2 reprogramming. Thus, the balance of inherited histone modifications is necessary to distinguish germline versus soma and prevent developmental delay.
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