Chromosome-Biased Binding and Function of C. elegans DRM Complex, and Its Role in Germline Sex-Silencing: A Dissertation
AuthorsTabuchi, Tomoko M.
Faculty AdvisorKirsten Hagstrom, Ph.D.
Academic ProgramInterdisciplinary Graduate Program
UMass Chan AffiliationsProgram in Molecular Medicine and Program in Cell Dynamics
Document TypeDoctoral Dissertation
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
Gene Expression Regulation
Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins
Animal Experimentation and Research
Cell and Developmental Biology
Genetics and Genomics
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDRM is a conserved transcription factor complex that includes E2F/DP and pRB family proteins and plays important roles in the cell cycle and cancer. Recent work has unveiled a new aspect of DRM function in regulating genes involved in development and differentiation. These studies, however, were performed with cultured cells and a genome-wide study involving intact organisms undergoing active proliferation and differentiation was lacking. Our goal was to extend the knowledge of the role of DRM in gene regulation through development and in multiple tissues. To accomplish this, we employed genomic approaches to determine genome-wide targets of DRM using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. In this dissertation, I focus on the DRM component LIN-54 since it was proposed to exhibit DNA-binding activity. First, we confirmed the DNA-binding activity of C.elegans LIN-54 in vivo, and showed it is essential to recruit the DRM complex to its target genes. Next, chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression profiling revealed that LIN-54 controls transcription of genes implicated in cell division, development and reproduction. This work identified an interesting contrast in DRM function in soma vs. germline: DRM promotes transcription of germline-specific genes in the germline, but prevents their ectopic expression in the soma. Furthermore, we discovered a novel characteristic of DRM, sex chromosome-biased binding and function. We demonstrated that C. elegans DRM preferentially binds autosomes, yet regulates X-chromosome silencing by counteracting the H3K36 histone methyltransferase MES-4. By using genomics, cytology, and genetics, we defined DRM as an important player in the regulation of germline X-chromosome gene expression, and addressed molecular mechanisms vii behind the antagonistic interactions between DRM and MES-4. I present a model to explain the interplay of DRM and MES-4, and propose a novel function of DRM and MES-4 in maintaining proper chromosome gene expression dosage. This work extends our knowledge of the conserved roles of DRM in development, and provides a new view of differing DRM functions in soma versus germline. Furthermore, we defined a novel chromosome-specific aspect of DRM-mediated regulation.
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/31877
This dissertation includes two supplemental spreadsheets for Chapter II. See Additional Files below.
RightsCopyright is held by the author, with all rights reserved.