Embryonic transcription is controlled by maternally defined chromatin state

Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 18;6:10148. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10148.

Abstract

Histone-modifying enzymes are required for cell identity and lineage commitment, however little is known about the regulatory origins of the epigenome during embryonic development. Here we generate a comprehensive set of epigenome reference maps, which we use to determine the extent to which maternal factors shape chromatin state in Xenopus embryos. Using α-amanitin to inhibit zygotic transcription, we find that the majority of H3K4me3- and H3K27me3-enriched regions form a maternally defined epigenetic regulatory space with an underlying logic of hypomethylated islands. This maternal regulatory space extends to a substantial proportion of neurula stage-activated promoters. In contrast, p300 recruitment to distal regulatory regions requires embryonic transcription at most loci. The results show that H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 are part of a regulatory space that exerts an extended maternal control well into post-gastrulation development, and highlight the combinatorial action of maternal and zygotic factors through proximal and distal regulatory sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Xenopus Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*
  • Xenopus laevis / genetics*
  • Xenopus laevis / metabolism

Substances

  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Xenopus Proteins

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE67974