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SUMOylation of the chromodomain factor MRG-1 in C. elegans affects chromatin-regulatory dynamics

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Title:SUMOylation of the chromodomain factor MRG-1 in C. elegans affects chromatin-regulatory dynamics
Creators Name:Baytek, G. and Blume, A. and Gerceker Demirel, F. and Bulut, S. and Mertins, P. and Tursun, B.
Abstract:Epigenetic mechanisms to control chromatin accessibility and structure is important for gene expression in eukaryotic cells. Chromatin regulation ensures proper development and cell fate specification but is also essential later in life. Modifications of histone proteins as an integral component of chromatin can promote either gene expression or repression, respectively. Proteins containing specific domains such as the chromodomain recognize mono-, di- or tri-methylated lysine residues on histone H3. The chromodomain protein MRG-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans is the ortholog of mammalian MRG15, which belongs to the MORF4 Related Gene (MRG) family in humans. In C. elegans MRG-1 predominantly binds methylated histone H3 lysine residues at position 36 (H3K36me3). MRG-1 is important during germline maturation and for safeguarding the germ cell identity. However, it lacks enzymatic activity and depends on protein-protein interaction to cooperate with other factors to regulate chromatin. To elucidate the variety of MRG-1 interaction partners we performed in-depth protein-protein interaction analysis using immunoprecipitations coupled with mass-spectrometry. Besides previously described and novel interactions with other proteins, we also detected a strong association with the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO). Since SUMO is known to be attached to proteins in order to modulate the target proteins activity we assessed whether MRG-1 is post-translationally modified by SUMOylation. Notably, we provide evidence that MRG-1 is indeed SUMOylated and that this post-translational modification influences the chromatin-binding profile of MRG-1 in the C. elegans genome. Our presented study hints towards an important role of SUMOylation in the context of epigenetic regulation via the chromodomain protein MRG-1, which may be a conserved phenomenon also in mammalian species.
Keywords:Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Article Number:2021.02.14.431134
Date:14 February 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.14.431134

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