Genic and global functions for Paf1C in chromatin modification and gene expression in Arabidopsis

PLoS Genet. 2008 Aug 22;4(8):e1000077. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000077.


In budding yeast, intragenic histone modification is linked with transcriptional elongation through the conserved regulator Paf1C. To investigate Paf1C-related function in higher eukaryotes, we analyzed the effects of loss of Paf1C on histone H3 density and patterns of H3 methylated at K4, K27, and K36 in Arabidopsis genes, and integrated this with existing gene expression data. Loss of Paf1C did not change global abundance of H3K4me3 or H3K36me2 within chromatin, but instead led to a 3' shift in the distribution of H3K4me3 and a 5' shift in the distribution of H3K36me2 within genes. We found that genes regulated by plant Paf1C showed strong enrichment for both H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 and also showed a high degree of tissue-specific expression. At the Paf1C- and PcG-regulated gene FLC, transcriptional silencing and loss of H3K4me3 and H3K36me2 were accompanied by expansion of H3K27me3 into the promoter and transcriptional start regions and further enrichment of H3K27me3 within the transcribed region. These results highlight both genic and global functions for plant Paf1C in histone modification and gene expression, and link transcriptional activity with cellular memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE10928
  • GEO/GSE7907