H3K36 methylation and DNA-binding are critical for Ioc4 recruitment and Isw1b remodeller function
The Isw1b chromatin-remodelling complex is specifically recruited to gene bodies to help retain pre-existing histones during transcription by RNA polymerase II. Recruitment is dependent on H3K36 methylation and the Isw1b subunit Ioc4, which contains an N-terminal PWWP domain. Here, we present the crystal structure of the Ioc4-PWWP domain including a detailed functional characterization of the domain on its own as well as in the context of full-length Ioc4 and the Isw1b remodeller. Ioc4-PWWP preferentially binds H3K36me3-containing nucleosomes. The ability of the PWWP domain to bind DNA is required for this interaction. It is also promoted by the unique insertion motif present in Ioc4-PWWP. The ability to bind H3K36me3 as well as DNA are also critical for full-length Ioc4 binding to nucleosomes in vitro as well as its recruitment to gene bodies in vivo. Furthermore, a fully functional Ioc4-PWWP domain is necessary for efficient remodelling by Isw1b and the maintenance of ordered chromatin in vivo, thereby preventing intragenic transcription initiation and the production of non-coding RNAs.
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