Disruption of an RNA-binding hinge region abolishes LHP1-mediated epigenetic repression.

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Epigenetic maintenance of gene repression is essential for development. Polycomb complexes are central to this memory, but many aspects of the underlying mechanism remain unclear. LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1 (LHP1) binds Polycomb-deposited H3K27me3 and is required for repression of many Polycomb target genes inArabidopsisHere we show that LHP1 binds RNA in vitro through the intrinsically disordered hinge region. By independently perturbing the RNA-binding hinge region and H3K27me3 (trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys27) recognition, we found that both facilitate LHP1 localization and H3K27me3 maintenance. Disruption of the RNA-binding hinge region also prevented formation of subnuclear foci, structures potentially important for epigenetic repression.