H3K9 Acetylation and Radial Chromatin Positioning
Histone variants and their epigenetic modifications determine genome function, particularly transcription. However, whether regulation of gene expression can be influenced by nuclear organization or vice versa is not completely clear. Here, we analyzed the effect of epigenetic changes induced by a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) on the nuclear radial rearrangement of select genomic regions and chromosomes. The HDACi, sodium butyrate (NaBt), induced differentiation of human adenocarcinoma HT29 cells as well as a genome-wide increase in H3K9 acetylation. Three-dimensional analysis of nuclear radial distributions revealed that this increase in H3K9 acetylation was often associated with a repositioning of select loci and chromosomes toward the nuclear center. On the other hand, many centromeres resided sites more toward the nuclear periphery, similar to sites occupied by chromosome X. In more than two-thirds of events analyzed, central nuclear positioning correlated with a high level of H3K9 acetylation, while more peripheral positioning within interphase nuclei correlated with a lower level of acetylation. This was observed for the gene-rich chromosomes 17 and 19, TP53, and CCND / genes as well as for gene-poor chromosome 18, APC gene, regions of low transcriptional activity (anti-RIDGEs), and the relatively transcriptionally less active chromosome X. These results are consistent with a role for epigenetic histone modifications in governing the nuclear radial positioning of genomic regions during differentiation. J. Cell. Physiol. 220: 91-101, 2009. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.