Genome-Wide Reduction in H3K9 Acetylation During Human Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation
Epigenetic marks are important factors regulating the pluripotency and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In this study, we analyzed H3K9 acetylation, an epigenetic mark associated with transcriptionally active chromatin, during endoderm-like differentiation of hESCs. ChIP-on-chip analysis revealed that differentiation results in a genome-wide decrease in promoter H3K9 acetylation. Among the 24,659 promoters analyzed, only 117 are likely to be involved in pluripotency, while 25 acetylated promoters are likely to be responsible for endoderm-like differentiation. In pluripotent hESCs, the chromosomes with the highest absolute levels of H3K9 acetylation are chromosomes 1, 6, 2, 17, 11, and 12 (listed in order of decreasing acetylation). Chromosomes 17, 19, 11, 20, 22, and 12 are the most prone to differentiation-related changes (both increased acetylation and deacetylation). When chromosome size (in Mb) was accounted for, the highest H3K9 acetylation levels were found on chromosome 19, 17, 6, 12, 11, and 1, and the greatest differentiation-associated decreases in H3K9 acetylation occurred on chromosomes 19, 17, 1 1, 12, 16, and 1. The gene density and size of individual chromosomes were strongly correlated with the levels of H3K9 acetylation. Our analyses point to chromosomes 1 1, 12, 17,and 19 as being critical for hESC pluripotency and endoderm-like differentiation.