PWWP-DOMAIN INTERACTOR OF POLYCOMBS1 Interacts with Polycomb-Group Proteins and Histones and Regulates Arabidopsis Flowering and Development
Hohenstatt ML, Mikulski P, Komarynets O, Klose C, Kycia I, Jeltsch A, Farrona S, Schubert D – 2018
Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins mediate epigenetic gene regulation by setting H3K27me3 via Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). In plants, it is largely unclear how PcG proteins are recruited to their target genes. Here, we identified the PWWP-DOMAIN INTERACTOR OF POLYCOMBS1 (PWO1) protein, which interacts with all three Arabidopsis thaliana PRC2 histone methyltransferases and is required for maintaining full H3 occupancy at several Arabidopsis genes. PWO1 localizes and recruits CURLY LEAF to nuclear speckles in Nicotiana benthamiana nuclei, suggesting a role in spatial organization of PcG regulation. PWO1 belongs to a gene family with three members having overlapping activities: pwo1 pwo2 pwo3 triple mutants are seedling lethal and show shoot and root meristem arrest, while pwo1 single mutants are early flowering. Interestingly, the PWWP domain of PWO1 confers binding to histones, which is reduced by a point mutation in a highly conserved residue of this domain and blocked by phosphorylation of H3S28. PWO1 carrying this mutation is not able to fully complement the pwo1 pwo2 pwo3 triple mutant, indicating the requirement of this domain for PWO1 in vivo activity. Thus, the PWO family may present a novel class of histone readers that are involved in recruiting PcG proteins to subnuclear domains and in promoting Arabidopsis development.