MeCP2 and Major Satellite Forward RNA Cooperate for Pericentric Heterochromatin Organization

Salvatore Fioriniello, Eva Csukonyi, Domenico Marano, Arianna Brancaccio, Michele Madonna, Carmela Zarrillo, Alessia Romano, Federico Marracino, Maria R Matarazzo, Maurizio D'Esposito, Floriana Della Ragione

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Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) has historically been linked to heterochromatin organization, and in mouse cells it accumulates at pericentric heterochromatin (PCH), closely following major satellite (MajSat) DNA distribution. However, little is known about the specific function of MeCP2 in these regions. We describe the first evidence of a role in neurons for MeCP2 and MajSat forward (MajSat-fw) RNA in reciprocal targeting to PCH through their physical interaction. Moreover, MeCP2 contributes to maintenance of PCH by promoting deposition of H3K9me3 and H4K20me3. We highlight that the MeCP2B isoform is required for correct higher-order PCH organization, and underline involvement of the methyl-binding and transcriptional repression domains. The T158 residue, which is commonly mutated in Rett patients, is directly involved in this process. Our findings support the hypothesis that MeCP2 and the MajSat-fw transcript are mutually dependent for PCH organization, and contribute to clarify MeCP2 function in the regulation of chromatin architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1332
Number of pages16
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 8 2020


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