Doctor of Philosophy, Karolinska Institutet (2011)
Anne Brunet, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) is a chromatin modification known to mark the transcription start sites of active genes. Here, we show that H3K4me3 domains that spread more broadly over genes in a given cell type preferentially mark genes that are essential for the identity and function of that cell type. Using the broadest H3K4me3 domains as a discovery tool in neural progenitor cells, we identify novel regulators of these cells. Machine learning models reveal that the broadest H3K4me3 domains represent a distinct entity, characterized by increased marks of elongation. The broadest H3K4me3 domains also have more paused polymerase at their promoters, suggesting a unique transcriptional output. Indeed, genes marked by the broadest H3K4me3 domains exhibit enhanced transcriptional consistency rather than increased transcriptional levels, and perturbation of H3K4me3 breadth leads to changes in transcriptional consistency. Thus, H3K4me3 breadth contains information that could ensure transcriptional precision at key cell identity/function genes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.027
View details for Web of Science ID 000340944300018
View details for PubMedID 25083876
Aging is accompanied by the functional decline of cells, tissues, and organs, as well as a striking increase in a wide range of diseases. The reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens new avenues for the aging field and has important applications for therapeutic treatments of age-related diseases. Here we review emerging studies on how aging and age-related pathways influence iPSC generation and property. We discuss the exciting possibility that reverting to a pluripotent stem cell stage erases several deficits associated with aging and offers new strategies for rejuvenation. Finally, we argue that reprogramming provides a unique opportunity to model aging and perhaps exceptional longevity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ceb.2012.10.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000314743100006
View details for PubMedID 23146768