The histone variant H2A.W defines heterochromatin and promotes chromatin condensation in arabidopsis

Ramesh Yelagandula, Hume Stroud, Sarah Holec, Keda Zhou, Suhua Feng, Xuehua Zhong, Uma M. Muthurajan, Xin Nie, Tomokazu Kawashima, Martin Groth, Karolin Luger, Steven E. Jacobsen, Frédéric Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Histone variants play crucial roles in gene expression, genome integrity, and chromosome segregation. We report that the four H2A variants in Arabidopsis define different genomic features, contributing to overall genomic organization. The histone variant H2A.W marks heterochromatin specifically and acts in synergy with heterochromatic marks H3K9me2 and DNA methylation to maintain transposon silencing. In vitro, H2A.W enhances chromatin condensation by promoting fiber-to-fiber interactions via its conserved C-terminal motif. In vivo, H2A.W is required for heterochromatin condensation, demonstrating that H2A.W plays critical roles in heterochromatin organization. Similarities in conserved motifs between H2A.W and another H2A variant in metazoans suggest that plants and animals share common mechanisms for heterochromatin condensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalCell
Volume158
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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