Gene regulation during development by chromatin and the Super Elongation Complex
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Developmental processes are carefully controlled at the level of transcription to ensure that the fertilized egg develops into an adult organism. The mechanisms that controls transcription of protein-coding genes ultimately ensure that the Pol II machine synthesizes mRNA from the correct set of genes in every cell type. Transcriptional control involves Pol II recruitment as well as transcriptional elongation. Recent genome-wide studies shows that recruitment of Pol II is often followed by an intermediate step where Pol II is halted in a promoter-proximal paused configuration. The release of Pol II from promoter-proximal pausing is thus an additional and commonly occurring mechanism in metazoan gene regulation. The serine kinase P-TEFb is part of the Super Elongation Complex that regulates the release of paused Pol II into productive elongation. However, little is known about the role of P-TEFb mediated gene expression in development. We have investigated the function of P-TEFb in early Drosophila embryogenesis and find that P-TEFb and other Super Elongation Complex subunits are critical for activation of the most early expressed genes. We demonstrate an unexpected function for Super Elongation Complex in activation of genes with non-paused Pol II. Furthermore, the Super Elongation Complex shares phenotypes with subunits of the Mediator complex to control the activation of essential developmental genes. This raises the possibility that the Super Elongation Complex has an unappreciated role in the recruitment of Pol II to promoters. The unique chromatin landscape of each cell type is comprised of post-translational chromatin modifications such as histone methylations and acetylations. To study the function of histone modifications during development, we depleted the histone demethylase KDM4A in Drosophila to evaluate the role of KDM4A and histone H3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3) in gene regulation. We find that KDM4A has a male-specific function and regulates gene expression both by catalytic-dependent and independent mechanisms. Furthermore, we used histone replacement to investigate the direct role of H3K14 acetylation in a multicellular organism. We show that H3K14 acetylation is essential for development, but is not cell lethal, suggesting that H3K14 acetylation has a critical role in developmental gene regulation. This work expands our knowledge of the mechanisms that precisely controls gene regulation and transcription, and in addition highlights the complexity of metazoan development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University , 2014. , 58 p.
Drosophila development, gene regulation, transcription, chromatin, P-TEFb, Super Elongation Complex, KDM4A, H3K36me3, H3K14ac, histone replacement
Research subject Developmental Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103066ISBN: 978-91-7447-932-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-103066DiVA: diva2:715144
2014-06-05, sal E306, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Gergen, Peter, Professor
Mannervik, Mattias, Professor
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.2014-05-142014-04-302014-05-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers