VAL1 acts as an assembly platform co-ordinating co-transcriptional repression and chromatin regulation at Arabidopsis FLC.
Polycomb (PcG) silencing is crucial for development, but how targets are specified remains incompletely understood. The cold-induced Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) silencing of Arabidopsis thaliana FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) provides an excellent system to elucidate PcG regulation. Association of the DNA binding protein VAL1 to FLC PcG nucleation regionis an important step. VAL1 co-immunoprecipitates APOPTOSIS AND SPLICING ASSOCIATED PROTEIN (ASAP) complex and PRC1. Here, we show that ASAP and PRC1 are necessary for co-transcriptional repression and chromatin regulation at FLC. ASAP mutants affect FLC transcription in warm conditions, but the rate of FLC silencing in the cold is unaffected. PRC1-mediated H2Aub accumulation increases at the FLC nucleation region during cold, but unlike the PRC2-delivered H3K27me3, does not spread across the locus. H2Aub thus involved in the transition to epigenetic silencing at FLC, facilitating H3K27me3 accumulation and long-term epigenetic memory. Overall, our work highlights the importance of VAL1 as an assembly platform co-ordinating activities necessary for epigenetic silencing at FLC.