Subtil-Rodríguez A, Vázquez-Chávez E, Ceballos-Chávez M, Rodríguez-Paredes M, Martín-Subero JI, Esteller M, Reyes JC
The precise regulation of S-phase-specific genes is critical for cell proliferation. How the repressive chromatin configuration mediated by the retinoblastoma protein and repressor E2F factors changes at the G1/S transition to allow transcription activation is unclear. Here we show ChIP-on-chip studies that reveal that the chromatin remodeller CHD8 binds ∼2000 transcriptionally active promoters. The spectrum of CHD8 target genes was enriched in E2F-dependent genes. We found that CHD8 binds E2F-dependent promoters at the G1/S transition but not in quiescent cells. Consistently, CHD8 was required for G1/S-specific expression of these genes and for cell cycle re-entry on serum stimulation of quiescent cells. We also show that CHD8 interacts with E2F1 and, importantly, loading of E2F1 and E2F3, but not E2F4, onto S-specific promoters, requires CHD8. However, CHD8 recruiting is independent of these factors. Recruiting of MLL histone methyltransferase complexes to S-specific promoters was also severely impaired in the absence of CHD8. Furthermore, depletion of CHD8 abolished E2F1 overexpression-dependent S-phase stimulation of serum-starved cells, highlighting the essential role of CHD8 in E2F-dependent transcription activation.