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Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 attenuates the very high expression of the Arabidopsis gene NRT2.1.

Bellegarde F, Herbert L, Séré D, Caillieux E, Boucherez J, Fizames C, Roudier F, Gojon A, Martin A

PRC2 is a major regulator of gene expression in eukaryotes. It catalyzes the repressive chromatin mark H3K27me3, which leads to very low expression of target genes. NRT2.1, which encodes a key root nitrate transporter in Arabidopsis, is targeted by H3K27me3, but the function of PRC2 on NRT2.1 remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that PRC2 directly targets and down-regulates NRT2.1, but in a context of very high transcription, in nutritional conditions where this gene is one of the most highly expressed genes in the transcriptome. Indeed, the mutation of CLF, which encodes a PRC2 subunit, leads to a loss of H3K27me3 at NRT2.1 and results, exclusively under permissive conditions for NRT2.1, in a further increase in NRT2.1 expression, and specifically in tissues where NRT2.1 is normally expressed. Therefore, our data indicates that PRC2 tempers the hyperactivity of NRT2.1 in a context of very strong transcription. This reveals an original function of PRC2 in the control of the expression of a highly expressed gene in Arabidopsis.

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May, 2018


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