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Genome-wide analysis of SU(VAR)3-9 distribution in chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster
- Maksimov, DaniilA., Laktionov, PetrP., Posukh, OlgaV., Belyakin, StepanN., Koryakov, DmitryE.
- Chromosoma 2018 v.127 no.1 pp. 85-102
- Drosophila melanogaster, brain, epigenetics, eukaryotic cells, ganglia, gene silencing, genes, genome-wide association study, germ cells, heterochromatin, histones, males, methylation, mutation, salivary glands, somatic cells, spermatogenesis, testes, transcription (genetics)
- Histone modifications represent one of the key factors contributing to proper genome regulation. One of histone modifications involved in gene silencing is methylation of H3K9 residue. Present in the chromosomes across different eukaryotes, this epigenetic mark is controlled by SU(VAR)3-9 and its orthologs. Despite SU(VAR)3-9 was discovered over two decades ago, little is known about the details of its chromosomal distribution pattern. To fill in this gap, we used DamID-seq approach and obtained high-resolution genome-wide profiles for SU(VAR)3-9 in two somatic (salivary glands and brain ganglia) and two germline (ovarian nurse cells and testes) tissues of Drosophila melanogaster. Analysis of tissue and developmental expression of SU(VAR)3-9-bound genes indicates that in the somatic tissues tested, as well as in the ovarian nurse cells, SU(VAR)3-9 tends to associate with transcriptionally silent genes. In contrast, in the testes, SU(VAR)3-9 shows preferential association with testis-specific genes, and its binding appears dynamic during spermatogenesis. In somatic cells, the mere presence/absence of SU(VAR)3-9 binding correlates with lower/higher expression. No such correlation is found in the male germline. Interestingly, transcription units in piRNA clusters (particularly flanks thereof) are frequently targeted by SU(VAR)3-9, and Su(var)3-9 mutation affects the expression of select piRNA species. Our analyses suggest a context-dependent role of SU(VAR)3-9. In euchromatin, SU(VAR)3-9 may serve to fine-tune the expression of individual genes, whereas in heterochromatin, chromosome 4, and piRNA clusters, it may act more broadly over large chromatin domains.