Title

N 6-methyladenine in DNA antagonizes SATB1 in early development

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-23-2020

Abstract

© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. The recent discovery of N6-methyladenine (N6-mA) in mammalian genomes suggests that it may serve as an epigenetic regulatory mechanism1. However, the biological role of N6-mA and the molecular pathways that exert its function remain unclear. Here we show that N6-mA has a key role in changing the epigenetic landscape during cell fate transitions in early development. We found that N6-mA is upregulated during the development of mouse trophoblast stem cells, specifically at regions of stress-induced DNA double helix destabilization (SIDD)2–4. Regions of SIDD are conducive to topological stress-induced unpairing of the double helix and have critical roles in organizing large-scale chromatin structures3,5,6. We show that the presence of N6-mA reduces the in vitro interactions by more than 500-fold between SIDD and SATB1, a crucial chromatin organizer that interacts with SIDD regions. Deposition of N6-mA also antagonizes SATB1 function in vivo by preventing its binding to chromatin. Concordantly, N6-mA functions at the boundaries between euchromatin and heterochromatin to restrict the spread of euchromatin. Repression of SIDD–SATB1 interactions mediated by N6-mA is essential for gene regulation during trophoblast development in cell culture models and in vivo. Overall, our findings demonstrate an unexpected molecular mechanism for N6-mA function via SATB1, and reveal connections between DNA modification, DNA secondary structures and large chromatin domains in early embryonic development.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Nature

First Page

625

Last Page

630

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