[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone lysine methylation is dynamically regulated by lysine methyltransferases and lysine demethylases. Here we show that PHD finger protein 8 (PHF8), a protein containing a PHD finger and a Jumonji C (JmjC) domain, is associated with hypomethylated rRNA genes (rDNA). PHF8 interacts with the RNA polymerase I transcription machinery and with WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5)-containing H3K4 methyltransferase complexes. PHF8 exerts a positive effect on rDNA transcription, with transcriptional activation requiring both the JmjC domain and the PHD finger. PHF8 demethylates H3K9me1/2, and its catalytic activity is stimulated by adjacent H3K4me3. A point mutation within the JmjC domain that is linked to mental retardation with cleft lip and palate (XLMR-CL/P) abolishes demethylase activity and transcriptional activation. Though further work is needed to unravel the contribution of PHF8 activity to mental retardation and cleft lip/palate, our results reveal a functional interplay between H3K4 methylation and H3K9me1/2 demethylation, linking dynamic histone methylation to rDNA transcription and neural disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The linker histone H1 generally participates in the establishment of chromatin structure. However, of the seven somatic H1 isotypes in humans some are also implicated in the regulation of local gene expression. Histone H1 isotype 4 (H1.4) represses transcription, and its lysine residue 26 (Lys(26)) was found to be important in this aspect. H1.4K26 is known to be methylated and acetylated in vivo, but the enzymes responsible for these post-translational modifications and the regulatory cues that promote H1.4 residence on chromatin are poorly characterized. Here we report that the euchromatic histone lysine methyltransferase G9a/KMT1C mediates H1.4K26 mono- and dimethylation in vitro and in vivo and thereby provides a recognition surface for the chromatin-binding proteins HP1 and L3MBTL1. Moreover, we show evidence that G9a promotes H1 deposition and is required for retention of H1 on chromatin. We also identify members of the JMJD2/KDM4 subfamily of jumonji-C type histone demethylases as being responsible for the removal of H1.4K26 methylation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic indexing of chromatin domains by histone lysine methylation requires the balanced coordination of methyltransferase and demethylase activities. Here, we show that SU(VAR)3-3, the Drosophila homolog of the human LSD1 amine oxidase, demethylates H3K4me2 and H3K4me1 and facilitates subsequent H3K9 methylation by SU(VAR)3-9. Su(var)3-3 mutations suppress heterochromatic gene silencing, display elevated levels of H3K4me2, and prevent extension of H3K9me2 at pericentric heterochromatin. SU(VAR)3-3 colocalizes with H3K4me2 in interband regions and is abundant during embryogenesis and in syncytial blastoderm, where it appears concentrated at prospective heterochromatin during cycle 14. In embryos of Su(var)3-3/+ females, H3K4me2 accumulates in primordial germ cells, and the deregulated expansion of H3K4me2 antagonizes heterochromatic H3K9me2 in blastoderm cells. Our data indicate an early developmental function for the SU(VAR)3-3 demethylase in controlling euchromatic and heterochromatic domains and reveal a hierarchy in which SU(VAR)3-3-mediated removal of activating histone marks is a prerequisite for subsequent heterochromatin formation by H3K9 methylation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone lysine trimethyl states represent some of the most robust epigenetic modifications in eukaryotic chromatin. Using a candidate approach, we identified the subgroup of murine Jmjd2 proteins to antagonize H3K9me3 at pericentric heterochromatin. H3K27me3 and H4K20me3 marks are not impaired in inducible Jmjd2b-GFP cell lines, but Jmjd2b also reduces H3K36 methylation. Since recombinant Jmjd2b appears as a very poor enzyme, we applied metabolic labeling with heavy methyl groups to demonstrate Jmjd2b-mediated removal of chromosomal H3K9me3 as an active process that occurs well before replication of chromatin. These data reveal that certain members of the jmjC class of hydroxylases can work in a pathway that actively antagonizes a histone lysine trimethyl state.
Genes & Development 07/2006; 20(12):1557-62. DOI:10.1101/gad.388206 · 12.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic mechanisms control eukaryotic development beyond DNA-stored information. DNA methylation, histone modifications and variants, nucleosome remodeling and noncoding RNAs all contribute to the dynamic make-up of chromatin under distinct developmental options. In particular, the great diversity of covalent histone tail modifications has been proposed to be ideally suited for imparting epigenetic information. While most of the histone tail modifications represent transient marks at transcriptionally permissive chromatin, some modifications appear more robust at silent chromatin regions, where they index repressive epigenetic states with functions also outside transcriptional regulation. Under-representation of repressive histone marks could be indicative of epigenetic plasticity in stem, young and tumor cells, while committed and senescent (old) cells often display increased levels of these more stable modifications. Here, we discuss profiles of normal and aberrant histone lysine methylation patterns, as they occur during the transition of an embryonic to a differentiated cell or in controlled self-renewal vs pro-neoplastic or metastatic conditions. Elucidating these histone modification patterns promises to have important implications for novel advances in stem cell research, nuclear reprogramming and cancer, and may offer novel targets for the combat of tumor cells, potentially leading to new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues in human biology and disease.
Ernst Schering Research Foundation workshop 02/2006; 57(57):1-27. DOI:10.1007/3-540-37633-X_1