Research ArticlePlant biology

The histone deubiquitinase OTLD1 targets euchromatin to regulate plant growth

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Science Signaling  20 Dec 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 459, pp. ra125
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf6767

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Targeting euchromatin to promote plant growth

Posttranslational modifications of histones, such as ubiquitination, acetylation, and methylation, influence gene expression. Heterochromatin, the tightly packed form of chromatin associated with gene silencing, and euchromatin, the loosely packed chromatin of actively transcribed genes, are characterized by distinct types of histone modifications. Of the 50 deubiquitinases encoded by the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, only 2 are known to target histones, UBP26 and OTLD1. Keren and Citovsky found that OTLD1 promoted overall plant growth, likely by stimulating cell growth rather than proliferation. From a panel of genes that control plant growth, five were repressed by overexpression of OTLD1. OTLD1 associated with chromatin at the promoters of each of these genes and promoted epigenetic remodeling of the euchromatin-associated histone modifications, including loss of ubiquitination, acetylation, and methylation. Thus, OTLD1 promotes plant growth by stimulating the removal of euchromatic histone marks, thereby repressing the expression of genes that fine-tune growth.

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