Positioning of nucleosomes containing γ-H2AX precedes active DNA demethylation and transcription initiation [article]

Stephanie Dobersch, Karla Rubio, Indrabahadur Singh, Stefan Guenther, Johannes Graumann, Julio Cordero, Rafael Castillo-Negrete, Minh Bao Huynh, Aditi Mehta, Peter Bruabach, Hector Cabrera-Fuentes, Juergen Bernhagen (+9 others)
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
In addition to nucleosomes, chromatin also contains non-histone chromatin-associated proteins, of which the high-mobility group (HMG) proteins are the most abundant. Chromatin-mediated regulation of transcription involves DNA methylation and histone modifications. However, the order of events and the precise function of HMG proteins during transcription initiation remain unclear. Here we show that HMG AT-hook 2 protein (HMGA2) induces DNA nicks at the transcription start site, which are
more » ... by the histone chaperone FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) complex to incorporate nucleosomes containing the histone variant H2A.X. Further, phosphorylation of H2A.X at S139 (γ-H2AX) is required for repair-mediated DNA demethylation and transcription activation. The relevance of these findings is demonstrated within the context of TGFB1 signaling and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, suggesting therapies against this lethal disease. Our data support that chromatin opening during transcriptional initiation involves intermediates with DNA breaks that subsequently require DNA repair mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the genome.
doi:10.1101/2020.03.06.980912 fatcat:th6gy7bpdja2bihias6rd4izzu