UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date

2021-05-04

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Genetics and Genomics

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The evolution of multicellularity is a critical event that remains incompletely understood. We use the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum, one of the rare organisms that readily transits back and forth between both unicellular and multicellular stages, to examine the role of epigenetics in regulating multicellularity.

RESULTS: While transitioning to multicellular states, patterns of H3K4 methylation and H3K27 acetylation significantly change. By combining transcriptomics, epigenomics, chromatin accessibility, and orthologous gene analyses with other unicellular and multicellular organisms, we identify 52 conserved genes, which are specifically accessible and expressed during multicellular states. We validated that four of these genes, including the H3K27 deacetylase hdaD, are necessary and that an SMC-like gene, smcl1, is sufficient for multicellularity in Dictyostelium.

CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the importance of epigenetics in reorganizing chromatin architecture to facilitate multicellularity in Dictyostelium discoideum and raise exciting possibilities about the role of epigenetics in the evolution of multicellularity more broadly.

Keywords

Acetylation, Dictyostelium discoideum, Epigenetics, HDAC, Methylation, Multicellularity, hdaD, smcl1, srfA

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

DOI of Published Version

10.1186/s13059-021-02360-9

Source

Wang SY, Pollina EA, Wang IH, Pino LK, Bushnell HL, Takashima K, Fritsche C, Sabin G, Garcia BA, Greer PL, Greer EL. Role of epigenetics in unicellular to multicellular transition in Dictyostelium. Genome Biol. 2021 May 4;22(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s13059-021-02360-9. PMID: 33947439; PMCID: PMC8094536. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Genome biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

33947439

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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