Global H3.3 dynamic deposition defines its bimodal role in cell fate transition

Hai Tong Fang, Chadi A. El Farran, Qiao Rui Xing, Li Feng Zhang, Hu Li, Bing Lim, Yuin Han Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


H3.3 is a histone variant, which is deposited on genebodies and regulatory elements, by Hira, marking active transcription. Moreover, H3.3 is deposited on heterochromatin by Atrx/Daxx complex. The exact role of H3.3 in cell fate transition remains elusive. Here, we investigate the dynamic changes in the deposition of the histone variant H3.3 during cellular reprogramming. H3.3 maintains the identities of the parental cells during reprogramming as its removal at early time-point enhances the efficiency of the process. We find that H3.3 plays a similar role in transdifferentiation to hematopoietic progenitors and neuronal differentiation from embryonic stem cells. Contrastingly, H3.3 deposition on genes associated with the newly reprogrammed lineage is essential as its depletion at the later phase abolishes the process. Mechanistically, H3.3 deposition by Hira, and its K4 and K36 modifications are central to the role of H3.3 in cell fate conversion. Finally, H3.3 safeguards fibroblast lineage by regulating Mapk cascade and collagen synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1537
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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