Cell identity bookmarking through heterogeneous chromatin landscape maintenance during the cell cycle.
Genetic and epigenetic information are faithfully duplicated and accurately transmitted to daughter cells to preserve cell identity during the cell cycle. However, how the chromatin-based epigenetic information beyond DNA sequence is stably transmitted along with the disruption and re-establishment of chromatin structure within a cell cycle remains largely unexplored. Through comprehensive analysis DNA methylation and nucleosome positioning patterns of HepG2 cells in G0/G1, early S, late S and G2/M phases, we found that DNA methylation may act as the prime element for epigenetic inheritance after replication, as DNA methylation was extremely stable in each cell cycle phase, while nucleosome occupancy showed notable phase dependent fluctuation. Nucleosome-Secured Regions (NSRs) occupied by polycomb-repressed chromatin played a role in repressing the irrelevant cell type-specific genes and were essential for preventing irrelevant transcription factors binding, while the well-defined Nucleosome-Depleted Regions (NDRs) marked the genes crucial for cell identity maintenance. Chromatin structure at NSRs and NDRs was well maintained throughout the cell cycle, which played crucial roles in steadily preserving the transcriptional identity of the cell to fulfill cell identity maintenance. Collectively, our results demonstrated that while chromatin architecture underwent dynamic changes during cell cycle progression, DNA methylation together with NSRs and NDRs were stable epigenetic elements that were required for faithful transmission to the daughter cell to accurately maintain cell identity during the cell cycle.
|Year of Publication
Hum Mol Genet
2017 11 01