Background. Incorporation of histone variants into chromatin is one of the epigenetic mechanisms used for regulation of gene expression. Macro (m)H2A is a histone variant that has two different subtypes in vertebrates: mH2A1 and mH2A2. It is known that mH2A is associated with gene silencing, but recent studies indicate that these mH2A subtypes could contribute more widely to transcriptional regulation. We have previously demonstrated that the gene-reprogramming response mediates adaptation of the carp fish to its environment, and that ribosomal gene transcription is seasonally regulated in carp. However, there have been few studies investigating how epigenetic mechanisms contribute to environmental adaptation and, in particular, to ribosomal cistron regulation. Results. In this paper, we report the occurrence of differential incorporation of mH2A subtypes into chromatin during seasonal adaptation in the carp, an event that concurs with opposing transcriptional states. Moreover, we observed that enrichment of mH2A1 in the ribosomal cistron during winter, and conversely, enrichment of mH2A2 during summer. mH2A1 consistently colocalizes with a heterochromatin marker (H3K27me2; histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 27) and mH2A2 with a euchromatin marker (H3K4me3; histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 4). Similar results were found for the L41gene, with enrichment of mH2A in the promoter region. Conclusions. We have characterized both mH2A subtypes from carp fish, and evaluated their participation in the regulation of the ribosomal cistron. Our findings indicate that differential incorporation of mH2A subtypes into the ribosome could regulate gene expression during the acclimatization process in carp. Our results reveal differential chromatin incorporation of the mH2A subtypes during the environmental adaptation process, correlating wtih antagonistic transcriptional states in the carp ribosomal cistron.
- histone H3
- histone macro H2a