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Maize decrease in DNA methylation 1 targets RNA-directed DNA methylation on active chromatin

Maize decrease in DNA methylation 1 targets RNA-directed DNA methylation on active chromatin

Plant Cell 33(7): 2183-2196

PMID: 33779761

DOI: 10.1093/plcell/koab098

DNA methylation plays vital roles in repressing transposable element activity and regulating gene expression. The chromatin-remodeling factor Decrease in DNA methylation 1 (DDM1) is crucial for maintaining DNA methylation across diverse plant species, and is required for RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) to maintain mCHH islands in maize (Zea mays). However, the mechanisms by which DDM1 is involved in RdDM are not well understood. In this work, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing to ascertain the genome-wide occupancy of ZmDDM1 in the maize genome. The results revealed that ZmDDM1 recognized an 8-bp-long GC-rich degenerate DNA sequence motif, which is enriched in transcription start sites and other euchromatic regions. Meanwhile, 24-nucleotide siRNAs and CHH methylation were delineated at the edge of ZmDDM1-occupied sites. ZmDDM1 co-purified with Argonaute 4 (ZmAGO4) proteins, providing further evidence that ZmDDM1 is a component of RdDM complexes in planta. Consistent with this, the vast majority of ZmDDM1-targeted regions co-localized with ZmAGO4-bound genomic sites. Overall, our results suggest a model that ZmDDM1 may be recruited to euchromatic regions via recognition of a GC-rich motif, thereby remodeling chromatin to provide access for RdDM activities in maize.

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Accession: 079146998

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