The H2B ubiquitin-protein ligase RNF40 is required for somatic cell reprogramming

Wanhua Xie, Michaela Miehe, Sandra Laufer, Steven A. Johnsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) requires a resetting of the epigenome in order to facilitate a cell fate transition. Previous studies have shown that epigenetic modifying enzymes play a central role in controlling induced pluripotency and the generation of iPSC. Here we show that RNF40, a histone H2B lysine 120 E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase, is specifically required for early reprogramming during induced pluripotency. Loss of RNF40-mediated H2B monoubiquitination (H2Bub1) impaired early gene activation in reprogramming. We further show that RNF40 contributes to tissue-specific gene suppression via indirect effects by controlling the expression of the polycomb repressive complex-2 histone methyltransferase component EZH2, as well as through more direct effects by promoting the resolution of H3K4me3/H3K27me3 bivalency on H2Bub1-occupied pluripotency genes. Thus, we identify RNF40 as a central epigenetic mediator of cell state transition with distinct functions in resetting somatic cell state to pluripotency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number287
JournalCell Death and Disease
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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