Genome-wide profiling of H1 linker histone variants in mouse embryonic stem cells
MetadataShow full item record
H1 linker histone facilitates the formation of higher order chromatin structure and is essential for mammalian development. Mice have 11 H1 variants which are differentially regulated and conserved in human. Previous research indicates that H1 regulates the expression of specific genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, whether individual variants have distinct functions and how H1 participates in gene regulation remain elusive. An investigation of the precise localization of individual H1 variants in vivo would facilitate the elucidation of mechanisms underlying chromatin compaction regulated gene expression, while it has been extremely difficult due to the lacking of specific antibodies toward H1 variants. In this dissertation, I have generated a knock-in system in ESCs and shown that the N-terminally tagged H1 proteins are functionally interchangeable to their endogenous counterparts in vivo. H1d and H1c are depleted from GC- and gene-rich regions and active promoters, inversely correlated with H3K4me3, but positively correlated with H3K9me3 and associated with characteristic sequence features. Surprisingly, both H1d and H1c are significantly enriched at major satellites, which display increased nucleosome spacing compared with bulk chromatin. While also depleted at active promoters and enriched at major satellites, overexpressed H10 displays differential binding patterns in specific repetitive sequences compared with H1d and H1c. Depletion of H1c, H1d ,and H1e causes pericentric chromocenter clustering and de-repression of major satellites. Collectively, these results integrate the localization of an understudied type of chromatin proteins, namely the H1 variants, into the epigenome map of mouse ESCs, and demonstrate significant changes at pericentric heterochromatin upon depletion of this epigenetic mark.