School of Mathematics and Statistics - Research Publications

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    Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) restricts hematopoietic stem cell activity
    Majewski, IJ ; Blewitt, ME ; de Graaf, CA ; McManus, EJ ; Bahlo, M ; Hilton, AA ; Hyland, CD ; Smyth, GK ; Corbin, JE ; Metcalf, D ; Alexander, WS ; Hilton, DJ ; Goodell, MA (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-04-01)
    Polycomb group proteins are transcriptional repressors that play a central role in the establishment and maintenance of gene expression patterns during development. Using mice with an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutation in Suppressor of Zeste 12 (Suz12), a core component of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2), we show here that loss of Suz12 function enhances hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity. In addition to these effects on a wild-type genetic background, mutations in Suz12 are sufficient to ameliorate the stem cell defect and thrombocytopenia present in mice that lack the thrombopoietin receptor (c-Mpl). To investigate the molecular targets of the PRC2 complex in the HSC compartment, we examined changes in global patterns of gene expression in cells deficient in Suz12. We identified a distinct set of genes that are regulated by Suz12 in hematopoietic cells, including eight genes that appear to be highly responsive to PRC2 function within this compartment. These data suggest that PRC2 is required to maintain a specific gene expression pattern in hematopoiesis that is indispensable to normal stem cell function.
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    Proximal genomic localization of STATI binding and regulated transcriptional activity
    Wormald, S ; Hilton, DJ ; Smyth, GK ; Speed, TP (BMC, 2006-10-11)
    BACKGROUND: Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins are key regulators of gene expression in response to the interferon (IFN) family of anti-viral and anti-microbial cytokines. We have examined the genomic relationship between STAT1 binding and regulated transcription using multiple tiling microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation microarray (ChIP-chip) experiments from public repositories. RESULTS: In response to IFN-gamma, STAT1 bound proximally to regions of the genome that exhibit regulated transcriptional activity. This finding was consistent between different tiling microarray platforms, and between different measures of transcriptional activity, including differential binding of RNA polymerase II, and differential mRNA transcription. Re-analysis of tiling microarray data from a recent study of IFN-gamma-induced STAT1 ChIP-chip and mRNA expression revealed that STAT1 binding is tightly associated with localized mRNA transcription in response to IFN-gamma. Close relationships were also apparent between STAT1 binding, STAT2 binding, and mRNA transcription in response to IFN-alpha. Furthermore, we found that sites of STAT1 binding within the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) region are precisely correlated with sites of either enhanced or diminished binding by the RNA polymerase II complex. CONCLUSION: Together, our results indicate that STAT1 binds proximally to regions of the genome that exhibit regulated transcriptional activity. This finding establishes a generalized basis for the positioning of STAT1 binding sites within the genome, and supports a role for STAT1 in the direct recruitment of the RNA polymerase II complex to the promoters of IFN-gamma-responsive genes.