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Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 759–786 | Cite as

Heterochromatin and the molecular mechanisms of ‘parent-of-origin’ effects in animals

  • Prim B Singh
Review

Abstract

Twenty five years ago it was proposed that conserved components of constitutive heterochromatin assemble heterochromatin-like complexes in euchromatin and this could provide a general mechanism for regulating heritable (cell-to-cell) changes in gene expressibility. As a special case, differences in the assembly of heterochromatin-like complexes on homologous chromosomes might also regulate the parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression observed in placental mammals. Here, the progress made in the intervening period with emphasis on the role of heterochromatin and heterochromatin-like complexes in parent-of-origin effects in animals is reviewed.

Keywords

Epigenetics genomic imprinting heterochromatin HP1 KRAB-ZFP 

Abbreviations used

5hmC

5-hydroxymethylcytosine

5mC

5-methylcytosine

ADD

ATRX-DNMT3-DNMT3L domain

ATRX

Alpha Thalassemia/Mental Retardation Syndrome X-Linked

CAF-1

chromatin assembly factor 1

CD

chromodomain

CE

controlling element

CF

chromocenter formation

CGIs

CpG islands

CSD

chromo shadow domain

DamID

DNA adenine methyltransferase identification

DAXX

Death Domain associated protein

DNMT1

maintenance DNA methyltransferase 1

DNMT3A

de novo DNA methyltransferase 3A

DNMT3B

de novo DNA methyltransferase 3B

DNMT3L

DNA methyltransferase 3L

ES

embryonic stem

G9a

K9H3 HMTase

GLP

G9a-like protein K9H3 HMTase

gDMRs

germline differentially methylated regions

H3K9me2

di-methylated lysine 9 on histone H3

H3K9me3

tri-methylated lysine 9 on histone H3

H3S10P

phosphorylation of serine 10 on histone H3

H4K20me3

tri-methylated lysine 20 on histone H4

HMTases

histone methyltransferases

HDACs

histone deactylases

HR

hinge region

HP1

Heterochromatin Protein 1

ICR

imprinting control region

IPS

induced pluripotent stem cell

KAP1

KRAB-associated protein 1

Kb

kilobases

KRAB-ZNPs

Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain zinc-finger proteins

KRAB-ZNF

KRAB domain-zinc finger

LINE

long interspersed elements

lncRNA

long non-coding RNA

LTR

long terminal repeat

Mb

megabases

MEFs

murine embryonic fibroblasts

MuERV-L

murine endogenous retrovirus L

NOR

nucleolar organizer region

Np95

Nuclear protein 95

NuRD

Nucleosome Remodelling histone Deacetylase

ORC

origin of replication complex

PCHET2

Plannococcus citri heterochromatin protein 2

PCNA

proliferating cell nuclear antigen

PGCs

primordial germ cells

PHD

plant homeodomain

PEV

position-effect variegation

pN

pico-Newtons

PN

pro-nuclear stage

PNBs

peri-nucleolar bodies

PxVxL

Proline/Any/Valine/Any/Leucine penta-peptide motif

RBCC

Ring-finger B Box-Coiled Coil domain

reverse majSat

reverse major satellite sequence

RNF12/RLIM

Ring Finger protein LIM Domain interacting

RRR

reprogramming resistant regions

SCNT

somatic cell nuclear transfer

SETDB1

SET Domain Bifurcated 1 K9H3 HMTase

siRNA

small interfering RNA

SMARCAD1

SWI/SNF-Related, Matrix-Associated Actin-Dependent Regulator of Chromatin, Subfamily A, Containing DEAD/H Box 1

SUMO2

Small ubiquitin-related modifier 2

SUV39H1/2

mammalian suvar K9H3 HMTase 1 and 2

Tet

Ten-eleven translocation dioxygenase

UBE2i

Ubiquitin conjugating enzyme 2i

Xp

paternal X-chromosome

Xm

maternal X chromosome

ZGA

zygotic genome activation

Zscan4

Zinc Finger and SCAN domain-containing 4.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank Dr William Swaney for helpful discussions, especially with regards to early drafts of the figures. Ashley Clarke drew the figures. I also thank Dr Vladimir Shetyn for his kindness in obtaining many references when I needed them. I am indebted to Prof H Sharat Chandra for his hospitality while on sabbatical at the Centre for Human Genetics, Bengaluru, India, where the seed for this review was planted.

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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fächerverbund Anatomie, Institut für Zell- und Neuro-biologieCharite - UniversitätsmedizinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Natural Sciences and PsychologyLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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