DNA replication and transcription programs respond to the same chromatin cues.
by Yoav Lubelsky, Joey Prinz, Leyna DeNapoli, Yulong Li, Jason Belsky, David MacAlpine
DNA replication is a dynamic process that occurs in a temporal order along each of the chromosomes. A consequence of the temporally coordinated activation of replication origins is the establishment of broad domains (>100 kb) that replicate either early or late in S phase. This partitioning of the genome into early and late replication domains is important for maintaining genome stability, gene dosage, and epigenetic inheritance; however, the molecular mechanisms that define and establish these domains are poorly understood. The modENCODE Project provided an opportunity to investigate the chromatin features that define the Drosophila replication timing program in multiple cell lines. The majority of early and late replicating domains in the Drosophila genome were static across all cell lines; however, a small subset of domains was dynamic and exhibited differences in replication timing between the cell lines. Both origin selection and activation contribute to defining the DNA replication program. Our results suggest that static early and late replicating domains were defined at the level of origin selection (ORC binding) and likely mediated by chromatin accessibility. In contrast, dynamic domains exhibited low ORC densities in both cell types, suggesting that origin activation and not origin selection governs the plasticity of the DNA replication program. Finally, we show that the male-specific early replication of the X chromosome is dependent on the dosage compensation complex (DCC), suggesting that the transcription and replication programs respond to the same chromatin cues. Specifically, MOF-mediated hyperacetylation of H4K16 on the X chromosome promotes both the up-regulation of male-specific transcription and origin activation.