FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) is a protein complex that allows RNAPII to overcome the nucleosome-induced barrier to transcription. While abundant in undifferentiated cells and many cancers, FACT is not abundant or is absent in most tissues. Therefore, we screened for additional proteins that might replace FACT upon differentiation. Here we report the identification of two such proteins, LEDGF and HDGF2, each containing two HMGA-like AT-hooks and a PWWP methyl-lysine reading domain known to bind to H3K36me2 and H3K36me3. LEDGF and HDGF2 localize with H3K36me2/3 at genomic regions containing active genes, usually adjacent to H3K27me3 domains. In myoblasts, where FACT expression is low, LEDGF and HDGF2 are enriched on most active genes. Upon differentiation to myotubes, LEDGF levels decrease across the genome while HDGF2 levels are maintained. Moreover, HDGF2 is recruited to the majority of myotube up-regulated genes and is required for their proper expression. HDGF2 knockout myoblasts exhibit an accumulation of paused RNAPII proximal to the first nucleosome within the transcribed region of many HDGF2 target genes, indicating a defect in early elongation. We propose that LEDGF and HDGF2 substitute for FACT in differentiated tissues and that their distribution on the genome helps maintain transcriptional programs unique to particular cell types. One Sentence Summary Chromatin bound LEDGF and HDGF2 proteins allow RNAPII to overcome the nucleosome-induced block to transcription.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)