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The bromodomain-containing protein Ibd1 links multiple chromatin-related protein complexes to highly expressed genes in Tetrahymena thermophila

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2021, 13:49 by Alejandro Saettone, Jyoti Garg, Jean-Philippe Lambert, Syed Nabeel-Shah, Marcelo Ponce, Alyson Burtch, Cristina Mudalige, Anne-Claude Gingras, Ronald E. Pearlman, Jeffrey Fillingham
Background: The chromatin remodelers of the SWI/SNF family are critical transcriptional regulators. Recognition of lysine acetylation through a bromodomain (BRD) component is key to SWI/SNF function; in most eukaryotes, this function is attributed to SNF2/Brg1.
Results: Using affinity purification coupled to mass spectrometry (AP–MS) we identified members of a SWI/SNF complex (SWI/SNFTt) in Tetrahymena thermophila. SWI/SNFTt is composed of 11 proteins, Snf5Tt, Swi1Tt, Swi3Tt, Snf12Tt, Brg1Tt, two proteins with potential chromatin-interacting domains and four proteins without orthologs to SWI/SNF proteins in yeast or mammals. SWI/SNFTt subunits localize exclusively to the transcriptionally active macronucleus during growth and development, consistent with a role in transcription. While Tetrahymena Brg1 does not contain a BRD, our AP–MS results identified a BRD-containing SWI/SNFTt component, Ibd1 that associates with SWI/SNFTt during growth but not development. AP–MS analysis of epitope-tagged Ibd1 revealed it to be a subunit of several additional protein complexes, including putative SWRTt, and SAGATt complexes as well as a putative H3K4-specific histone methyl transferase complex. Recombinant Ibd1 recognizes acetyl-lysine marks on histones correlated with active transcription. Consistent with our AP–MS and histone array data suggesting a role in regulation of gene expression, ChIP-Seq analysis of Ibd1 indicated that it primarily binds near promoters and within gene bodies of highly expressed genes during growth.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that through recognizing specific histones marks, Ibd1 targets active chromatin regions of highly expressed genes in Tetrahymena where it subsequently might coordinate the recruitment of several chromatin-remodeling complexes to regulate the transcriptional landscape of vegetatively growing Tetrahymena cells.