Comparative Epigenomics Reveals that RNA Polymerase II Pausing and Chromatin Domain Organization Control Nematode piRNA Biogenesis.
Birkle, Timothy Y
Schwartz, Hillel T
Sternberg, Paul W
Elsevier (Cell Press)
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Beltran, T., Barroso, C., Birkle, T. Y., Stevens, L., Schwartz, H. T., Sternberg, P. W., Fradin, H., et al. (2019). Comparative Epigenomics Reveals that RNA Polymerase II Pausing and Chromatin Domain Organization Control Nematode piRNA Biogenesis.. Developmental Cell, 48 (6), 793-810.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.026
Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are important for genome regulation across metazoans, but their biogenesis evolves rapidly. In Caenorhabditis elegans, piRNA loci are clustered within two 3-Mb regions on chromosome IV. Each piRNA locus possesses an upstream motif that recruits RNA polymerase II to produce an ∼28 nt primary transcript. We used comparative epigenomics across nematodes to gain insight into the origin, evolution, and mechanism of nematode piRNA biogenesis. We show that the piRNA upstream motif is derived from core promoter elements controlling snRNA transcription. We describe two alternative modes of piRNA organization in nematodes: in C. elegans and closely related nematodes, piRNAs are clustered within repressive H3K27me3 chromatin, while in other species, typified by Pristionchus pacificus, piRNAs are found within introns of active genes. Additionally, we discover that piRNA production depends on sequence signals associated with RNA polymerase II pausing. We show that pausing signals synergize with chromatin to control piRNA transcription.
C. elegans, chromatin, comparative epigenomics, epigenetics, evolution, nematodes, piwi-interacting small RNAs
Work in the Sarkies laboratory is funded by a grant from the Medical Research Council MC-A652-5PY80. P.S. was funded by an Imperial College Research Fellowship. L.S. was funded by a Bailie-Gifford PhD studentship. We thank the London Institute of Medical Sciences Genomics Facility for sequencing. Some sequencing was carried out at Edinburgh Genomics, which has core support from the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility award UKSBS PR18037. Work in the Martínez-Pérez laboratory was funded by a grant from the Medical Research Council MC-A652-5PY60. G.S. was funded by a Newton International Fellowship (Royal Society). J.A. was funded by a Wellcome Senior Research Fellowship (101863). T.Y.B. was funded by a Genetics Society Summer Studentship to the Sarkies lab.
Wellcome Trust (101863/Z/13/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.026
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/291013
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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