Embryonic stem cells (ESC) have the ability to epigenetically silence endogenous and exogenous retroviral sequences. Trim28 plays an important role in establishing this silencing, but less is known about the role other Trim proteins play. The Tif1 family is a sub-group of the Trim family, which possess histone binding ability in addition to the distinctive RING domain. Here, we have examined the interaction between three Tif1 family members, namely Trim24, Trim28 and Trim33, and their function in retroviral silencing. We identify a complex formed in ESC, comprised of these three proteins. We further show that when Trim33 is depleted, the complex collapses and silencing efficiency of both endogenous and exogenous sequences is reduced. Similar transcriptional activation takes place when Trim24 is depleted. Analysis of the H3K9me3 chromatin modification showed a decrease in this repressive mark, following both Trim24 and Trim33 depletion. As Trim28 is an identified binding partner of the H3K9 methyltransferase ESET, this further supports the involvement of Trim28 in the complex. The results presented here suggest that a complex of Tif1 family members, each of which possesses different specificity and efficiency, contributes to the silencing of retroviral sequences in ESC.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.
- Embryonic stem cells (ESC)
- Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs)
- Epigenetic silencing
- Murine leukemia virus (MLV)
- Tif1 family