Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 attenuates the very high expression of the Arabidopsis gene NRT2.1

Sci Rep. 2018 May 21;8(1):7905. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26349-w.


PRC2 is a major regulator of gene expression in eukaryotes. It catalyzes the repressive chromatin mark H3K27me3, which leads to very low expression of target genes. NRT2.1, which encodes a key root nitrate transporter in Arabidopsis, is targeted by H3K27me3, but the function of PRC2 on NRT2.1 remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that PRC2 directly targets and down-regulates NRT2.1, but in a context of very high transcription, in nutritional conditions where this gene is one of the most highly expressed genes in the transcriptome. Indeed, the mutation of CLF, which encodes a PRC2 subunit, leads to a loss of H3K27me3 at NRT2.1 and results, exclusively under permissive conditions for NRT2.1, in a further increase in NRT2.1 expression, and specifically in tissues where NRT2.1 is normally expressed. Therefore, our data indicates that PRC2 tempers the hyperactivity of NRT2.1 in a context of very strong transcription. This reveals an original function of PRC2 in the control of the expression of a highly expressed gene in Arabidopsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anion Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Anion Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / genetics
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome


  • Anion Transport Proteins
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • AtNRT2.1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • PRC2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2