Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(8):2009-2020. doi:10.7150/ijbs.59347

Research Paper

Identification of Histone Modifications Reveals a Role of H2b Monoubiquitination in Transcriptional Regulation of dmrt1 in Monopterus albus

Fengling Lai, Yibin Cheng, Juan Zou, Haoyu Wang, Wang Zhu, Xin Wang, Hanhua Cheng, Rongjia Zhou

Hubei Key Laboratory of Cell Homeostasis, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China.

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Citation:
Lai F, Cheng Y, Zou J, Wang H, Zhu W, Wang X, Cheng H, Zhou R. Identification of Histone Modifications Reveals a Role of H2b Monoubiquitination in Transcriptional Regulation of dmrt1 in Monopterus albus. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(8):2009-2020. doi:10.7150/ijbs.59347. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p2009.htm

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Abstract

Gonadal trans-differentiation from ovary to testis occurs in a same individual, suggesting a role of epigenetic regulation. However, histone modifications concerning the sex reversal process remain elusive. We analyzed histone modifications using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) technology was used to test chromatin immunoprecipitation of gonads. Western blot analysis was performed to analyze protein expression. Immunofluorescence analysis was conducted to localize proteins in gonadal tissues. Here, we report a developmental atlas of histone modifications in the gonadal differentiation, including acetylation, methylation, and ubiquitination. We provided a detail distribution map of these modification sites including novel histone modifications along histones H2a, H2b, H3, and H4, and revealed their relationship with types of gonadal differentiation. We then determined a testis-enriched histone modification site, H2b monoubiquitination at K120, and its association with spermatogenesis. ChIP-seq demonstrated that the modification was highly enriched in the male sex-determining gene dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor 1), in particular, in its exon regions, suggesting its role in transcriptional regulation of dmrt1 in testis. Together, these data not only provide a new resource for epigenetic study in gonadal development, but also define an association of histone modifications with gonadal differentiation from ovary to testis.

Keywords: histone modification, mass spectrometry, H2B ubiquitination, sex reversal