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The PWWP domain and the evolution of unique DNA methylation toolkits in Hymenoptera

Kucharski, Robert, Ellis, Nancy, Jurkowski, Tomasz P. ORCID:, Hurd, Paul J. and Maleszka, Ryszard 2023. The PWWP domain and the evolution of unique DNA methylation toolkits in Hymenoptera. iScience 26 (11) , 108193. 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108193

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DNMT3 in Hymenoptera has a unique duplication of the essential PWWP domain. Using GST-tagged PWWP fusion proteins and histone arrays we show that these domains have gained new properties and represent the first case of PWWP domains binding to H3K27 chromatin modifications, including H3K27me3, a key modification that is important during development. Phylogenetic analyses of 107 genomes indicate that the duplicated PWWP domains separated into two sister clades, and their distinct binding capacities are supported by 3D modeling. Other features of this unique DNA methylation system include variable copies, losses, and duplications of DNMT1 and DNMT3, and combinatorial generations of DNMT3 isoforms including variants missing the catalytic domain. Some of these losses and duplications of are found only in parasitic wasps. We discuss our findings in the context of the crosstalk between DNA methylation and histone methylation, and the expanded potential of epigenomic modifications in Hymenoptera to drive evolutionary novelties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Cell Press
ISSN: 2589-0042
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 November 2023
Date of Acceptance: 10 October 2023
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 10:00

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