Nucleic acids research

The phosphatase interactor NIPP1 regulates the occupancy of the histone methyltransferase EZH2 at Polycomb targets.

PMID 20671031


Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are key regulators of stem-cell and cancer biology. They mainly act as repressors of differentiation and tumor-suppressor genes. One key silencing step involves the trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys27 (H3K27) by EZH2, a core component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). The mechanism underlying the initial recruitment of mammalian PRC2 complexes is not well understood. Here, we show that NIPP1, a regulator of protein Ser/Thr phosphatase-1 (PP1), forms a complex with PP1 and PRC2 components on chromatin. The knockdown of NIPP1 or PP1 reduced the association of EZH2 with a subset of its target genes, whereas the overexpression of NIPP1 resulted in a retargeting of EZH2 from fully repressed to partially active PcG targets. However, the expression of a PP1-binding mutant of NIPP1 (NIPP1m) did not cause a redistribution of EZH2. Moreover, mapping of the chromatin binding sites with the DamID technique revealed that NIPP1 was associated with multiple PcG target genes, including the Homeobox A cluster, whereas NIPP1m showed a deficient binding at these loci. We propose that NIPP1 associates with a subset of PcG targets in a PP1-dependent manner and thereby contributes to the recruitment of the PRC2 complex.