In embryonic stem cells (ESCs), the expression of development-related genes, including germ cell-related genes, is globally repressed. The transcription factor MAX represses germ cell-related gene expression in ESCs via PCGF6-polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), which consists of several epigenetic factors. However, we predicted that MAX represses germ cell-related gene expression through several additional mechanisms because PCGF6-PRC1 regulates the expression of only a subset of genes repressed by MAX. Here, we report that MAX associated with DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and the histone methyltransferase SETDB1 cooperatively control germ cell-related gene expression in ESCs. Both DNA methylation and histone H3 lysine 9 tri-methylation of the promoter regions of several germ cell-related genes were not affected by knockout of the PRC1 components, indicating that the MAX-DNMT and MAX-SETDB1 pathways are independent of the PCGF6-PRC1 pathway. Our findings provide insights into our understanding of MAX-based repressive mechanisms of germ cell-related genes in ESCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)