Kurihara M, Kato K, Sanbo C, Shigenobu S, Ohkawa Y, Fuchigami T, Miyanari Y
The promyelocytic leukemia (PML) body is a phase-separated nuclear structure physically associated with chromatin, implying its crucial roles in genome functions. However, its role in transcriptional regulation is largely unknown. We developed APEX-mediated chromatin labeling and purification (ALaP) to identify the genomic regions proximal to PML bodies. We found that PML bodies associate with active regulatory regions across the genome and with ∼300 kb of the short arm of the Y chromosome (YS300) in mouse embryonic stem cells. The PML body association with YS300 is essential for the transcriptional activity of the neighboring Y-linked clustered genes. Mechanistically, PML bodies provide specific nuclear spaces that the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A cannot access, resulting in the steady maintenance of a hypo-methylated state at Y-linked gene promoters. Our study underscores a new mechanism for gene regulation in the 3D nuclear space and provides insights into the functional properties of nuclear structures for genome function.