Rev-erbα dynamically modulates chromatin looping to control circadian gene transcription

Authors: Yong Hoon Kim, Sajid A. Marhon, Yuxiang Zhang, David J. Steger, Kyoung-Jae Won, Mitchell A. Lazar


Mammalian physiology exhibits 24-hour cyclicity due to circadian rhythms of gene expression controlled by transcription factors (TF) that comprise molecular clocks. Core clock TFs bind to the genome at enhancer sequences to regulate circadian gene expression, but not all binding sites are equally functional. Here we demonstrate that circadian gene expression in mouse liver is controlled by rhythmic chromatin interactions between enhancers and promoters. Rev-erbα, a core repressive TF of the clock, opposes functional loop formation between Rev-erbα-regulated enhancers and circadian target gene promoters by recruitment of the NCoR-HDAC3 corepressor complex, histone deacetylation, and eviction of the elongation factor BRD4 and the looping factor MED1. Thus, a repressive arm of the molecular clock operates by rhythmically modulating chromatin loops to control circadian gene transcription.

Source: Science, 2018; eaao6891