This is a collective curation effort - leave a comment below if you'd like to be added as a curator
RNA in chromatin (28) | Dr Dave Hartley
Starting with the discovery of the role of Xist RNA in X chromosome inactivation, more RNAs are being discovered associated with chromosome structure and function. This dissertation will explore current knowledge of the significance of RNA in the regulation of chromatin structure and function and how it plays such roles.
Dr Dave Hartley
Abstract: Sex chromosome dosage compensation is essential in most metazoans, but the developmental timing and underlying mechanisms vary significantly, even among placental mammals. Here we identify human-specific mechanisms regulating X chromosome activity in early embryonic development. Single-cell RNA sequencing and imaging revealed co-activation and accumulation of the long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) XACT and XIST on active X chromosomes in both early human pre-implantation embryos and naive human embryonic stem cells. In these contexts, the XIST RNA adopts an unusual, highly dispersed organization, which may explain why it does not trigger X chromosome inactivation at this stage. Functional studies in transgenic mouse cells show that XACT influences XIST accumulation in cis. Our findings therefore suggest a mechanism involving antagonistic activity of XIST and XACT in controlling X chromosome activity in early human embryos, and they highlight the contribution of rapidly evolving lncRNAs to species-specific developmental mechanisms.
Pub.: 19 Dec '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: The 18-kb Xist long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) is essential for X-chromosome inactivation during female eutherian mammalian development. Global structural architecture, cell-induced conformational changes, and protein–RNA interactions within Xist are poorly understood. We used selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension and mutational profiling (SHAPE-MaP) to examine these features of Xist at single-nucleotide resolution both in living cells and ex vivo. The Xist RNA forms complex well-defined secondary structure domains and the cellular environment strongly modulates the RNA structure, via motifs spanning one-half of all Xist nucleotides. The Xist RNA structure modulates protein interactions in cells via multiple mechanisms. For example, repeat-containing elements adopt accessible and dynamic structures that function as landing pads for protein cofactors. Structured RNA motifs create interaction domains for specific proteins and also sequester other motifs, such that only a subset of potential binding sites forms stable interactions. This work creates a broad quantitative framework for understanding structure–function interrelationships for Xist and other lncRNAs in cells.
Pub.: 30 Aug '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: Beginning with the precedent of XIST RNA as a 'chromosomal RNA' (cRNA), there is growing interest in the possibility that a diversity of non-coding RNAs may function in chromatin. We review findings which lead us to suggest that RNA is essentially a widespread component of interphase chromosomes. Further, RNA likely contributes to architecture and regulation, with repeat-rich 'junk' RNA in euchromatin (ecRNA) promoting a more open chromatin state. Thousands of low-abundance nuclear RNAs have been reported, however it remains a challenge to determine which of these may function in chromatin. Recent findings indicate that repetitive sequences are enriched in chromosome-associated non-coding RNAs, and repeat-rich RNA shows unusual properties, including localization and stability, with similarities to XIST RNA. We suggest two frontiers in genome biology are emerging and may intersect: the broad contribution of RNA to interphase chromosomes and the distinctive properties of repeat-rich intronic or intergenic junk sequences that may play a role in chromosome structure and regulation.
Pub.: 25 May '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: X chromosome inactivation (XCI) is required for dosage compensation of X-linked genes in human female cells. Several previous reports have described the promiscuous XCI status in long-term cultured female human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and the majority of them exhibit non-random XCI. However, when and how such female hESCs acquire the aberrant XCI states during culture is unknown. Herein, through comparing the XCI states in 18 paired hES cell lines throughout early culture, we revealed a uniform dynamic change during this culture period under a widely used culture condition. The female initial hESCs (ihESCs, < P5) expressed XIST RNA, H3K27me3 punctate enrichment and displayed random XCI pattern. By further culturing, the female early hESCs (ehESCs, P20–P30) lost the expression of XIST RNA, H3K27me3 punctate enrichment and exhibited a completely skewed XCI pattern. Importantly, a subset of X-linked genes was up-regulated in ehESCs, including some cancer-related genes. At last, we found 5% physiological oxygen was beneficial for the expression of XIST and H3K27me3 punctate enrichment, but not for the XCI pattern. We conclude that the XCI dynamic change is a frequent epigenetic instability event during early culture, which is accompanied by the up-regulation of some X-linked genes. Furthermore, we emphasize that physiological oxygen is beneficial for XCI fidelity.
Pub.: 22 May '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: Sex chromosomal dosage compensation in mammals takes the form of X chromosome inactivation (XCI), driven by the non-coding RNA Xist. In contrast to dosage compensation systems of flies and worms, mammalian XCI has to restrict its function to the Xist-producing X chromosome, while leaving autosomes and active X untouched. The mechanisms behind the long-range yet cis-specific localization and silencing activities of Xist have long been enigmatic, but genomics, proteomics, super-resolution microscopy, and innovative genetic approaches have produced significant new insights in recent years. In this review, I summarize and integrate these findings with a particular focus on the redundant yet mutually reinforcing pathways that enable long-term transcriptional repression throughout the soma. This includes an exploration of concurrent epigenetic changes acting in parallel within two distinct compartments of the inactive X. I also examine how Polycomb repressive complexes 1 and 2 and macroH2A may bridge XCI establishment and maintenance. XCI is a remarkable phenomenon that operates across multiple scales, combining changes in nuclear architecture, chromosome topology, chromatin compaction, and nucleosome/nucleotide-level epigenetic cues. Learning how these pathways act in concert likely holds the answer to the riddle posed by Cattanach’s and other autosomal translocations: What makes the X especially receptive to XCI?
Pub.: 09 Apr '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17
Abstract: The long non-coding RNA Xist directs a remarkable instance of developmentally regulated, epigenetic change known as X Chromosome Inactivation (XCI). By spreading in cis across the X chromosome from which it is expressed, Xist RNA facilities the creation of a heritably silent, heterochromatic nuclear territory that displays a three-dimensional structure distinct from that of the active X chromosome. How Xist RNA attaches to and propagates across a chromosome and its influence over the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the inactive X are aspects of XCI that have remained largely unclear. Here, we discuss studies that have made significant contributions towards answering these open questions.
Pub.: 06 Apr '16, Pinned: 25 Jan '17