Molecular Cell, 21 November, 2019，DOI：https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2019.08.019
Histone Modifications Regulate Chromatin Compartmentalization by Contributing to a Phase Separation Mechanism
Liang Wang, Yifei Gao, Xiangdong Zheng, Cuifang Liu, Shuangshuang Dong, Ru Li, Guanwei Zhang, Yixuan Wei, Hongyuan Qu, Yuhan Li, C. David Allis, Guohong Li, Haitao Li, Pilong Li
Eukaryotic chromosomes contain compartments of various functions, which are marked by and enriched with specific histone modifications. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these histone marks function in chromosome compartmentalization are poorly understood. Constitutive heterochromatin is a largely silent chromosome compartment characterized in part by H3K9me2 and 3. Here, we show that heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), an H3K9me2 and 3 “reader,” interacts with SUV39H1, an H3K9me2 and 3 “writer,” and with TRIM28, an abundant HP1 scaffolding protein, to form complexes with increased multivalent engagement of H3K9me2 and 3-modified chromatin. H3K9me2 and 3-marked nucleosomal arrays and associated complexes undergo phase separation to form macromolecule-enriched liquid droplets. The droplets are reminiscent of heterochromatin as they are highly dense chromatin-containing structures that are resistant to DNase and exclude the general transcription factor TFIIB. Our data suggest a general mechanism by which histone marks regulate chromosome compartmentalization by promoting phase separation.