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The transcriptionally permissive chromatin state of ES cells is acutely tuned to translational output

By Aydan Bulut-Karslioglu, Trisha A Macrae, Juan A. Oses-Prieto, Sergio Covarrubias, Michelle Percharde, Gregory Ku, Aaron Diaz, Michael T McManus, Alma L Burlingame, Miguel Ramalho-Santos

Posted 22 Jul 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/167239 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.02.004)

A permissive chromatin environment coupled to hypertranscription is critical to drive the rapid proliferation of Embryonic Stem (ES) cells and peri-implantation embryos. We carried out a genome-wide screen to systematically dissect the regulation of the euchromatic state of ES cells. The results reveal that activity of cellular growth pathways, prominently protein synthesis, perpetuates the euchromatic state and hypertranscription of ES cells. Acute, mild inhibition of translation results in rapid depletion of euchromatic marks in ES cells and blastocysts, concurrent with delocalization of RNA polymerase II and reduction in nascent transcription. Remarkably, reduced translational output leads to rewiring of open chromatin within 3 hours, including decreased accessibility at a subset of active developmental enhancers and increased accessibility at histone genes and transposable elements. Using a proteome-scale analysis, we show that several euchromatin regulators are unstable proteins and thus continuously depend on a high translational output. We propose that this mechanistic interdependence of euchromatin, transcription and translation sets the pace of proliferation at peri-implantation and may be employed generally by stem/progenitor cells.

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