How repetitive elements, epigenetic modifications, and architectural proteins interact ensuring proper genome expression remains poorly understood. Here, we report regulatory mechanisms unveiling a central role of Alu elements (AEs) and RNA polymerase III transcription factor C (TFIIIC) in structurally and functionally modulating the genome via chromatin looping and histone acetylation. Upon serum deprivation, a subset of AEs pre-marked by the activity-dependent neuroprotector homeobox Protein (ADNP) and located near cell-cycle genes recruits TFIIIC, which alters their chromatin accessibility by direct acetylation of histone H3 lysine-18 (H3K18). This facilitates the contacts of AEs with distant CTCF sites near promoter of other cell-cycle genes, which also become hyperacetylated at H3K18. These changes ensure basal transcription of cell-cycle genes and are critical for their re-activation upon serum re-exposure. Our study reveals how direct manipulation of the epigenetic state of AEs by a general transcription factor regulates 3D genome folding and expression.
Keywords: 3D genome structure; ADPN; Alu elements; CTCF; H3K18ac; Pol II; TFIIIC; breast cancer; cell cycle; serum starvation.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.