VIM proteins regulate transcription exclusively through the MET1 cytosine methylation pathway.

Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society

PubMedID: 24762702

Shook MS, Richards EJ. VIM proteins regulate transcription exclusively through the MET1 cytosine methylation pathway. Epigenetics. 2014;9(7):.
In Arabidopsis, variant in methylation (VIM) proteins are required for the maintenance of DNA methylation in the CpG dinucleotide context. VIM1 acts as a cofactor of DNA methyltransferase 1 (MET1), although the mechanism for this co-regulation remains unclear. In this study, we used RNA-seq analysis to profile the transcriptomes of vim1, vim1 vim2 vim3, and met1 null mutants. Consistent with previous studies indicating functional redundancy between these VIM proteins, we found no transcripts that were significantly misregulated in vim1 mutants. However, we identified a large set of VIM protein regulatory targets through analysis of vim1 vim2 vim3 mutants, and we observed that this set is essentially identical to that regulated by MET1. Log 2 fold changes in gene expression relative to wild type are strongly correlated between vim1 vim2 vim3 and met1 mutants. While the largest subset of these transcripts is upregulated and enriched in transposable elements, we also found small subsets of downregulated genes in each mutant, which are enriched in protein-coding genes. Together, these results expand on previous studies that profiled cytosine methylation in the vim1 vim2 vim3 mutant, and show that VIM proteins function in transcriptional regulation via their roles in the MET1 DNA methylation pathway.