J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (4): 787-802.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13067

Special Issue: Epigenetics Flowering

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A histone H3K27me3 reader cooperates with a family of PHD finger‐containing proteins to regulate flowering time in Arabidopsis

Feng Qian1, Qiu‐Yuan Zhao1, Tie‐Nan Zhang1, Yu‐Lu Li1, Yin‐Na Su1, Lin Li1, Jian‐Hua Sui1,2, She Chen1,2 and Xin‐Jian He1,2*   

  1. 1National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing 102206, China
    2Tsinghua Institute of Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

    *Correspondence: Xin‐Jian He (hexinjian@nibs.ac.cn)
  • Received:2020-12-24 Accepted:2021-01-10 Online:2021-01-12 Published:2021-04-01

Abstract: Trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is a repressive histone marker that regulates a variety of developmental processes, including those that determine flowering time. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism of how H3K27me3 is recognized to regulate transcription. Here, we identified BAH domain‐containing transcriptional regulator 1 (BDT1) as an H3K27me3 reader. BDT1 is responsible for preventing flowering by suppressing the expression of flowering genes. Mutation of the H3K27me3 recognition sites in the BAH domain disrupted the binding of BDT1 to H3K27me3, leading to de‐repression of H3K27me3‐enriched flowering genes and an early‐flowering phenotype. We also found that BDT1 interacts with a family of PHD finger‐containing proteins, which we named PHD1–6, and with CPL2, a Pol II carboxyl terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase responsible for transcriptional repression. Pull‐down assays showed that the PHD finger‐containing proteins can enhance the binding of BDT1 to the H3K27me3 peptide. Mutations in all of the PHD genes caused increased expression of flowering genes and an early‐flowering phenotype. This study suggests that the binding of BDT1 to the H3K27me3 peptide, which is enhanced by PHD proteins, is critical for preventing early flowering.

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