Principles of nucleation of H3K27 methylation during embryonic development.

van Heeringen SJ, Akkers RC, van Kruijsbergen I, Arif MA, Hanssen LL, Sharifi N, Veenstra GJ

During embryonic development, maintenance of cell identity and lineage commitment requires the Polycomb-group PRC2 complex, which catalyzes histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). However, the developmental origins of this regulation are unknown. Here we show that H3K27me3 enrichment increases from blastula stages onward in embryos of the Western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) within constrained domains strictly defined by sequence. Strikingly, although PRC2 also binds widely to active enhancers, H3K27me3 is only deposited at a small subset of these sites. Using a Support Vector Machine algorithm, these sequences can be predicted accurately on the basis of DNA sequence alone, with a sequence signature conserved between humans, frogs, and fish. These regions correspond to the subset of blastula-stage DNA methylation-free domains that are depleted for activating promoter motifs, and enriched for motifs of developmental factors. These results imply a genetic-default model in which a preexisting absence of DNA methylation is the major determinant of H3K27 methylation when not opposed by transcriptional activation. The sequence and motif signatures reveal the hierarchical and genetically inheritable features of epigenetic cross-talk that impose constraints on Polycomb regulation and guide H3K27 methylation during the exit of pluripotency.


Share this article

March, 2014


Products used in this publication

  • ChIP-seq Grade
    Pol II Antibody - replaced by the antibody C152...
  • Antibody ChIP icon
    H3K4me1 Antibody


  • ESHG 2024
    Berlin, Germany
    Jun 1-Jun 4, 2024
  • CLEPIC 2024
    Warsaw, Poland
    Jun 5-Jun 7, 2024
  • EACR 2024
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Jun 10-Jun 13, 2024
  • Chromatin meets South 2024
    Marseille, France
    Jun 13-Jun 14, 2024
 See all events


       Site map   |   Contact us   |   Conditions of sales   |   Conditions of purchase   |   Privacy policy   |   Diagenode Diagnostics