TET1 interacts directly with NANOG via independent domains containing hydrophobic and aromatic residues

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Abstract

The DNA demethylase TET1 is highly expressed in embryonic stem cells and is important both for lineage commitment, and reprogramming to naïve pluripotency. TET1 interacts with the pluripotency transcription factor NANOG which may contribute to its biological activity in pluripotent cells. However, how TET1 interacts with other proteins is largely unknown. Here, we characterise the physical interaction between TET1 and NANOG using embryonic stem cells and bacterial expression systems. TET1 and NANOG interact through multiple binding sites that act independently. Critically, mutating conserved hydrophobic and aromatic residues within TET1 and NANOG abolishes the interaction. On chromatin, NANOG is predominantly localised at ESC enhancers. While TET1 binds to CpG dinucleotides in promoters using its CXXC domain, TET1 also binds to enhancers, though the mechanism involved is unknown. Comparative ChIP-seq analysis identifies genomic loci bound by both TET1 and NANOG, that correspond predominantly to pluripotency enhancers. Importantly, around half of NANOG transcriptional target genes are associated with TET1-NANOG co-bound sites. These results indicate a mechanism by which TET1 protein may be targeted to specific sites of action at enhancers by direct interaction with a transcription factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6075-6091
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume432
Issue number23
Early online date13 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • protein-protein interactions
  • embryonic stem cells
  • chromatin
  • pluripotency
  • enhancers

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