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Histone H3 Lysine 4 methyltransferases MLL3 and MLL4 Modulate Long-range Chromatin Interactions at Enhancers

By Jian Yan, Shi-An A. Chen, Andrea Local, Tristin Liu, Yunjiang Qiu, Ah Young Lee, Inkyung Jung, Sebastian Prei├čl, Chloe M Rivera, Chaochen Wang, Haruhiko Ishii, Rongxin Fang, Zhen Ye, Kai Ge, Ming Hu, Bing Ren

Posted 21 Feb 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/110239

Regulation of gene expression in mammalian cells depends on long-range chromatin interactions between enhancers and promoters. Currently, the exact mechanisms that connect distal enhancers to their specific target promoters remain to be fully elucidated. Here we show that the histone H3 Lysine 4 monomethylation (H3K4me1) writer proteins MLL3 and MLL4 (MLL3/4) play an active role in this process. We demonstrate that in differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells, MLL3/4-dependent deposition of H3K4me1 at enhancers correlates with increased levels of chromatin interactions, whereas loss of MLL3/4 leads to greatly reduced frequencies of chromatin interactions and failure of lineage-specific gene expression programs. We further show that H3K4me1 facilitates recruitment of the Cohesin complex to chromatin in vitro and in vivo, providing a potential mechanism for MLL3/4 to promote chromatin looping. Taken together, our results support an active role for MLL3/4 in modulating chromatin organization at enhancers in mammalian cells.

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