New publication in Nature Communications

New article has been published in Nature Communications:

NODULIN HOMEOBOX is required for heterochromatin homeostasis in Arabidopsis
Zsolt Karányi, Ágnes Mosolygó-L, Orsolya Feró, Adrienn Horváth, Beáta Boros-Oláh, Éva Nagy, Szabolcs Hetey, Imre Holb, Henrik Mihály Szaker, Márton Miskei, Tibor Csorba, Lóránt Székvölgyi

Abstract. Arabidopsis NODULIN HOMEOBOX (NDX) is a nuclear protein described as a regulator of specific euchromatic genes within transcriptionally active chromosome arms. Here we show that NDX is primarily a heterochromatin regulator that functions in pericentromeric regions to control siRNA production and non-CG methylation. Most NDX binding sites coincide with pericentromeric het-siRNA loci that mediate transposon silencing, and are antagonistic with R-loop structures that are prevalent in euchromatic chromosomal arms. Inactivation of NDX leads to differential siRNA accumulation and DNA methylation, of which CHH/CHG hypomethylation colocalizes with NDX binding sites. Hi-C analysis shows significant chromatin structural changes in the ndx mutant, with decreased intrachromosomal interactions at pericentromeres where NDX is enriched in wild-type plants, and increased interchromosomal contacts between KNOT-forming regions, similar to those observed in DNA methylation mutants. We conclude that NDX is a key regulator of heterochromatin that is functionally coupled to het-siRNA loci and non-CG DNA methylation pathways.

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