DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification associated with gene silencing. In Arabidopsis, DNA methylation is established by DOMAINS REARRANGED METHYLTRANSFERASE 2 (DRM2), which is targeted by small interfering RNAs through a pathway termed RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) [1, 2]. Recently, RdDM was shown to require intergenic noncoding (IGN) transcripts that are dependent on the Pol V polymerase. These transcripts are proposed to function as scaffolds for the recruitment of downstream RdDM proteins, including DRM2, to loci that produce both siRNAs and IGN transcripts . However, the mechanism(s) through which Pol V is targeted to specific genomic loci remains largely unknown. Through affinity purification of two known RdDM components, DEFECTIVE IN RNA-DIRECTED DNA METHYLATION 1 (DRD1)  and DEFECTIVE IN MERISTEM SILENCING 3 (DMS3) [5, 6], we found that they copurify with each other and with a novel protein, RNA-DIRECTED DNA METHYLATION 1 (RDM1), forming a complex we term DDR. We also found that DRD1 copurified with Pol V subunits and that RDM1, like DRD1  and DMS3 , is required for the production of Pol V-dependent transcripts. These results suggest that the DDR complex acts in RdDM at a step upstream of the recruitment or activation of Pol V. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)