Polycomb Proteins (PcG) are chromatin proteins that control the maintenance of “transcriptional memory” and cell identity by fixing the repressed state of developmentally regulated genes. This function has been linked to interaction with RNA moieties, in particular long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). However, specificity of PcG-RNA interactions has been controversial (Beltran et al., 2016; Chen Davidovich, Leon Zheng, Karen J. Goodrich, & Thomas R. Cech, 2013). In this study we took advantage of recent work published from our lab reporting about a novel and reversible mechanism regulating genome wide Ezh1-PRC2 activation in mouse skeletal muscle cells in response to atrophic stress (Bodega et al., 2017). Using this physiological, in vivo tool we could identify a functional dynamic crosstalk between Malat1 (Metastasis Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1) and PRC2-Ezh1 complex. By combining immuno-fluorescence, biochemistry, epigenomics, ChIRP, DNA and RNA immunoprecipitation we identified a novel pathway in which Malat1 plays a role in compartmentalization, assembly and activity of PRC2 in chromatin, allowing epigenetic plastic response to atrophic stress and recovery. We conclude that Malat1 is an essential partner for PRC2-Ezh1 adaptive function in skeletal muscle cells.
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