Prion-like domains drive CIZ1 assembly formation at the inactive X chromosome.
Sofi S., Williamson L., Turvey GL., Scoynes C., Hirst C., Godwin J., Brockdorff N., Ainscough J., Coverley D.
CIZ1 forms large assemblies at the inactive X chromosome (Xi) in female fibroblasts in an Xist lncRNA-dependent manner and is required for accurate maintenance of polycomb targets genome-wide. Here we address requirements for assembly formation and show that CIZ1 undergoes two direct interactions with Xist, via independent N- and C-terminal domains. Interaction with Xist, assembly at Xi, and complexity of self-assemblies formed in vitro are modulated by two alternatively spliced glutamine-rich prion-like domains (PLD1 and 2). PLD2 is dispensable for accumulation at existing CIZ1-Xi assemblies in wild-type cells but is required in CIZ1-null cells where targeting, assembly, and enrichment for H3K27me3 and H2AK119ub occur de novo. In contrast, PLD1 is required for both de novo assembly and accumulation at preexisting assemblies and, in vitro, drives formation of a stable fibrillar network. Together they impart affinity for RNA and a complex relationship with repeat E of Xist. These data show that alternative splicing of two PLDs modulates CIZ1's ability to build large RNA-protein assemblies.