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Background: The formation of chromatin domains is an important step in lineage commitment. In human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), G9a/GLP-dependent H3K9me2 chromatin territories form de novo during lineage specification and are nucleated at punctate sites during lineage commitment. Here, we examined the patterning of G9a/GLP-dependent H3K9me2 in HSPCs and the consequences for chromatin structure. Results: We profiled chromatin accessibility across the genome of HSPCs treated with either a small molecule inhibitor of G9a/GLP or DMSO. We observed that chromatin accessibility is dramatically altered at the regions of H3K9me2 nucleation. We have characterized the regions of H3K9me2 nucleation, with our analysis revealing that H3K9me2 is nucleated in HSPCs at CpG islands (CGIs) and CGI-like sequences across the genome. Our analysis furthermore revealed a bias of H3K9me2 nucleation towards regions with low rates of C- > T deamination, which typically lack DNA methylation. Lastly, we examined the interaction of H3K9me2 and DNA methylation and determined that chromatin accessibility changes upon loss of H3K9me2 are dependent on the presence of DNA methylation. Conclusions: These results indicate that H3K9me2 nucleation is established at specific sequences that have base composition similar to CGIs. Our results furthermore indicate that H3K9me2 nucleation leads to local changes in chromatin accessibility and that H3K9me2 and DNA methylation work synergistically to regulate chromatin accessibility.
Schones, D. E., Chen, X., Trac, C., Setten, R., & Paddison, P. J. (2014). G9a/GLP-dependent H3K9me2 patterning alters chromatin structure at CpG islands in hematopoietic progenitors. Epigenetics and Chromatin, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-8935-7-23