Multilayered chromatin analysis reveals E2f, Smad and Zfx as transcriptional regulators of histones

Histones, the building blocks of eukaryotic chromatin, are essential for genome packaging, function and regulation. However, little is known about their transcriptional regulation. Here we conducted a comprehensive computational analysis, based on chromatin immunoprecipitation–sequencing and −microarray analysis (ChIP-seq and ChIP-chip) data of over 50 transcription factors and histone modifications in mouse embryonic stem cells. Enrichment scores supported by gene expression data from gene knockout studies identified E2f1 and E2f4 as master regulators of histone genes, CTCF and Zfx as repressors of core and linker histones, respectively, and Smad1, Smad2, YY1 and Ep300 as restricted or cell type–specific regulators. We propose that histone gene regulation is substantially more complex than previously thought, and that a combination of factors orchestrate histone gene regulation, from strict synchronization with S phase to targeted regulation of specific histone subtypes.

Authors: Gokhman D, Livyatan I, Sailaja BS, Melcer S and Meshorer E
Year of publication: 2013
Journal: Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, volume 20, pages 119–126

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