Image_4_PRC2-Mediated H3K27me3 Contributes to Transcriptional Regulation of FIT-Dependent Iron Deficiency Response.pdf

Iron is an essential micronutrient for nearly all organisms, but excessive iron can lead to the formation of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. Therefore, iron acquisition and homeostasis must be tightly regulated. Plants have evolved complex mechanisms to optimize their use of iron, which is one of the most limiting nutrients in the soil. In particular, transcriptional regulation is vital for regulating iron in plants, and much work has revealed the role of transcription factors on this front. Our study adds novel insights to the transcriptional regulation of iron homeostasis in plants by showing that chromatin remodeling via histone 3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) modulates the expression of FIT-dependent genes under iron deficiency. We provide evidence that FIT-dependent iron acquisition genes, IRT1 and FRO2, as well as FIT itself are direct targets of PRC2-mediated H3K27me3. In the clf mutant, which lacks the predominant H3K27 tri-methyltransferase, induction of FIT, FRO2, IRT1, and other FIT-regulated genes in roots is significantly higher under iron deficient conditions than in wild type. Furthermore, we observe that clf mutants are more tolerant to iron deficiency than wild type, indicating that gene expression levels appear to be limiting the plants ability to access iron. We propose that H3K27me3 attenuates the induction of FIT-target genes under iron deficiency and hypothesize that this may serve as a mechanism to restrict the maximum level of induction of iron acquisition genes to prevent iron overload.