Arginine Methylation Provides Epigenetic Transcription Memory for Retinoid-Induced Differentiation in Myeloid Cells
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Cellular differentiation is governed by changes in gene expression, but at the same time, a cell's identity needs to be maintained through multiple cell divisions during maturation. In myeloid cell lines, retinoids induce gene expression and a well-characterized two-step lineage-specific differentiation. To identify mechanisms that contribute to cellular transcriptional memory, we analyzed the epigenetic changes taking place on regulatory regions of tissue transglutaminase, a gene whose expression is tightly linked to retinoid-induced differentiation. Here we report that the induction of an intermediary or "primed" state of myeloid differentiation is associated with increased H4 arginine 3 and decreased H3 lysine 4 methylation. These modifications occur before transcription and appear to prime the chromatin for subsequent hormone-regulated transcription. Moreover, inhibition of methyltransferase activity, pre-acetylation, or activation of the enzyme PAD4 attenuated retinoid-regulated gene expression, while overexpression of PRMT1, a methyltransferase, enhanced retinoid responsiveness. Taken together, our results suggest that H4 arginine 3 methylation is a bona fide positive epigenetic marker and regulator of transcriptional responsiveness as well as a signal integration mechanism during cell differentiation and, as such, may provide epigenetic memory.
author list (cited authors)
Balint, B. L., Szanto, A., Madi, A., Bauer, U., Gabor, P., Benko, S., ... Nagy, L.