The non-receptor isoform of protein tyrosine phosphatase Epsilon (cyt-PTPe) supports adhesion of bone-resorbing osteoclasts by activating Src downstream of integrins. Loss of cyt-PTPe reduces Src activity in osteoclasts, reduces resorption of mineralized matrix both in vivo and in cell culture, and induces mild osteopetrosis in young female PTPe KO mice. Activation of Src by cyt-PTPe is dependent upon this phosphatase undergoing phosphorylation at its C-terminal Y638 by partially-active Src. In order to understand how cyt-PTPe activates Src we screened 73 SH2 domains for binding to pY638 of cyt-PTPe. The SH2 domain of Grb2 bound pY638 of cyt-PTPe most prominently, while the Src SH2 domain did not bind at all, suggesting that Grb2 may link PTPe with downstream molecules. Further studies indicated that Grb2 is required for activation of Src by cyt-PTPe in osteoclast-like cells in culture (OCLs). Overexpression of Grb2 in OCLs increased activating phosphorylation of Src at Y416 and of cyt-PTPe at Y638; opposite results were obtained when Grb2 expression was reduced by shRNA or by gene inactivation. Phosphorylation of cyt-PTPe at Y683 and its association with Grb2 are integrin-driven processes in OCLs; cyt-PTPe auto-dephosphorylates at Y683, thus limiting Src activation by integrins. Reduced Grb2 expression also reduces the ability of bone marrow precursors to differentiate into OCLs and reduces the fraction of OCLs in which podosomal adhesion structures assume organization typical of active, resorbing cells. We conclude that Grb2 physically links cyt-PTPe with Src and enables cyt-PTPe to activate Src downstream of activated integrins in OCLs.
The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein pRb is a key regulator of cell cycle progression and mediator of the DNA damage response. Lysine methylation at K810, which occurs within a critical Cdk phosphorylation motif, holds pRb in the hypophosphorylated growth-suppressing state. We show here that methyl K810 is read by the tandem tudor domain containing tumor protein p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1). Structural elucidation of 53BP1 in complex with a methylated K810 pRb peptide emphasized the role of the 53BP1 tandem tudor domain in recognition of the methylated lysine and surrounding residues. Significantly, binding of 53BP1 to methyl K810 occurs on E2 promoter binding factor target genes and allows pRb activity to be effectively integrated with the DNA damage response. Our results widen the repertoire of cellular targets for 53BP1 and suggest a previously unidentified role for 53BP1 in regulating pRb tumor suppressor activity.
Protein arginine methyltransferase 6 (PRMT6) is a nuclear enzyme that modifies histone tails. To help elucidate the biological function of PRMT6 in vivo, we generated transgenic mice that ubiquitously express PRMT6 fused to the hormone-binding portion of the estrogen receptor (ER*). The ER*-PRMT6 fusion is unstable and cytoplasmic, but upon systemic treatment with tamoxifen, it becomes stabilized and translocates into the nucleus. As a result, a dramatic increase in the H3R2me2a histone mark is observed. We found that one consequence of induced ER*-PRMT6 activation is increased IL-6 levels. IL-6 expression is regulated by the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) transcription factor, and PRMT6 functions as a coactivator of this pathway. We show that PRMT6 directly interacts with RelA, and that its overexpression enhances the transcriptional activity of an ectopic NF-?B reporter and endogenously regulates NF-?B target genes. PRMT6 is recruited, by RelA, to selective NF-?B target promoters upon TNF-? stimulation. Moreover, ER*-PRMT6 activation causes RelA accumulation in the nucleus. In summary, we observe that PRMT6 is recruited to chromatin at selective NF-?B target promoters, where it likely impacts the histone code and/or methylates other chromatin-associated proteins to facilitate transcription.
Inheritance of DNA cytosine methylation pattern during successive cell division is mediated by maintenance DNA (cytosine-5) methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1). Lysine 142 of DNMT1 is methylated by the SET domain containing lysine methyltransferase 7 (SET7), leading to its degradation by proteasome. Here we show that PHD finger protein 20-like 1 (PHF20L1) regulates DNMT1 turnover in mammalian cells. Malignant brain tumor (MBT) domain of PHF20L1 binds to monomethylated lysine 142 on DNMT1 (DNMT1K142me1) and colocalizes at the perinucleolar space in a SET7-dependent manner. PHF20L1 knockdown by siRNA resulted in decreased amounts of DNMT1 on chromatin. Ubiquitination of DNMT1K142me1 was abolished by overexpression of PHF20L1, suggesting that its binding may block proteasomal degradation of DNMT1K142me1. Conversely, siRNA-mediated knockdown of PHF20L1 or incubation of a small molecule MBT domain binding inhibitor in cultured cells accelerated the proteasomal degradation of DNMT1. These results demonstrate that the MBT domain of PHF20L1 reads and controls enzyme levels of methylated DNMT1 in cells, thus representing a novel antagonist of DNMT1 degradation.
Arginine methylation is a common posttranslational modification (PTM) that alters roughly 0.5% of all arginine residues in the cells. There are three types of arginine methylation: monomethylarginine (MMA), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA). These three PTMs are enriched on RNA-binding proteins and on histones, and also impact signal transduction cascades. To date, over thirty arginine methylation sites have been cataloged on the different core histones. These modifications alter protein structure, impact interactions with DNA, and also generate docking sites for effector molecules. The primary "readers" of methylarginine marks are Tudor domain-containing proteins. The complete family of thirty-six Tudor domain-containing proteins has yet to be fully characterized, but at least ten bind methyllysine motifs and eight bind methylarginine motifs. In this review, we will highlight the biological roles of the Tudor domains that interact with arginine methylated motifs, and also address other types of interactions that are regulated by these particular PTMs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Molecular mechanisms of histone modification function.
Tudor domain-containing protein 3 (TDRD3) is a major methylarginine effector molecule that reads methyl-histone marks and facilitates gene transcription. However, the underlying mechanism by which TDRD3 functions as a transcriptional coactivator is unknown. We identified topoisomerase IIIB (TOP3B) as a component of the TDRD3 complex. TDRD3 serves as a molecular bridge between TOP3B and arginine-methylated histones. The TDRD3-TOP3B complex is recruited to the c-MYC gene promoter primarily by the H4R3me2a mark, and the complex promotes c-MYC gene expression. TOP3B relaxes negative supercoiled DNA and reduces transcription-generated R loops in vitro. TDRD3 knockdown in cells increases R loop formation at the c-MYC locus, and Tdrd3 null mice exhibit elevated R loop formation at this locus in B cells. Tdrd3 null mice show significantly increased c-Myc/Igh translocation, a process driven by R loop structures. By reducing negative supercoiling and resolving R loops, TOP3B promotes transcription, protects against DNA damage, and reduces the frequency of chromosomal translocations.
We previously localized a new form of recessive ataxia with generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy and mental retardation to a 19 Mb interval in 16q21-q23 by homozygosity mapping of a large consanguineous Saudi Arabian family. We now report the identification by whole exome sequencing of the missense mutation changing proline 47 into threonine in the first WW domain of the WW domain containing oxidoreductase gene, WWOX, located in the linkage interval. Proline 47 is a highly conserved residue that is part of the WW motif consensus sequence and is part of the hydrophobic core that stabilizes the WW fold. We demonstrate that proline 47 is a key amino acid essential for maintaining the WWOX protein fully functional, with its mutation into a threonine resulting in a loss of peptide interaction for the first WW domain. We also identified another highly conserved homozygous WWOX mutation changing glycine 372 to arginine in a second consanguineous family. The phenotype closely resembled the index family, presenting with generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy, mental retardation and ataxia, but also included prominent upper motor neuron disease. Moreover, we observed that the short-lived Wwox knock-out mouse display spontaneous and audiogenic seizures, a phenotype previously observed in the spontaneous Wwox mutant rat presenting with ataxia and epilepsy, indicating that homozygous WWOX mutations in different species causes cerebellar ataxia associated with epilepsy.
The mammalian protein arginine methyltransferase 7 (PRMT7) has been implicated in roles of transcriptional regulation, DNA damage repair, RNA splicing, cell differentiation, and metastasis. However, the type of reaction that it catalyzes and its substrate specificity remain controversial. In this study, we purified a recombinant mouse PRMT7 expressed in insect cells that demonstrates a robust methyltransferase activity. Using a variety of substrates, we demonstrate that the enzyme only catalyzes the formation of ?-monomethylarginine residues, and we confirm its activity as the prototype type III protein arginine methyltransferase. This enzyme is active on all recombinant human core histones, but histone H2B is a highly preferred substrate. Analysis of the specific methylation sites within intact histone H2B and within H2B and H4 peptides revealed novel post-translational modification sites and a unique specificity of PRMT7 for methylating arginine residues in lysine- and arginine-rich regions. We demonstrate that a prominent substrate recognition motif consists of a pair of arginine residues separated by one residue (RXR motif). These findings will significantly accelerate substrate profile analysis, biological function study, and inhibitor discovery for PRMT7.
Protein methylation is a common posttranslational modification that mostly occurs on arginine and lysine residues. Arginine methylation has been reported to regulate RNA processing, gene transcription, DNA damage repair, protein translocation, and signal transduction. Lysine methylation is best known to regulate histone function and is involved in epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. To better study protein methylation, we have developed highly specific antibodies against monomethyl arginine; asymmetric dimethyl arginine; and monomethyl, dimethyl, and trimethyl lysine motifs. These antibodies were used to perform immunoaffinity purification of methyl peptides followed by LC-MS/MS analysis to identify and quantify arginine and lysine methylation sites in several model studies. Overall, we identified over 1000 arginine methylation sites in human cell line and mouse tissues, and ?160 lysine methylation sites in human cell line HCT116. The number of methylation sites identified in this study exceeds those found in the literature to date. Detailed analysis of arginine-methylated proteins observed in mouse brain compared with those found in mouse embryo shows a tissue-specific distribution of arginine methylation, and extends the types of proteins that are known to be arginine methylated to include many new protein types. Many arginine-methylated proteins that we identified from the brain, including receptors, ion channels, transporters, and vesicle proteins, are involved in synaptic transmission, whereas the most abundant methylated proteins identified from mouse embryo are transcriptional regulators and RNA processing proteins.
The mechanisms that underlie and dictate the different biological outcomes of E2F-1 activity have yet to be elucidated. We describe the residue-specific methylation of E2F-1 by the asymmetric dimethylating protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) and symmetric dimethylating PRMT5 and relate the marks to different functional consequences of E2F-1 activity. Methylation by PRMT1 hinders methylation by PRMT5, which augments E2F-1-dependent apoptosis, whereas PRMT5-dependent methylation favors proliferation by antagonizing methylation by PRMT1. The ability of E2F-1 to prompt apoptosis in DNA damaged cells coincides with enhanced PRMT1 methylation. In contrast, cyclin A binding to E2F-1 impedes PRMT1 methylation and augments PRMT5 methylation, thus ensuring that E2F-1 is locked into its cell-cycle progression mode. The Tudor domain protein p100-TSN reads the symmetric methylation mark, and binding of p100-TSN downregulates E2F-1 apoptotic activity. Our results define an exquisite level of precision in the reader-writer interplay that governs the biological outcome of E2F-1 activity.
Arginine methylation is a common posttranslational modification that is found on both histone and non-histone proteins. Three types of arginine methylation exist in mammalian cells: monomethylarginine (MMA), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA). PRMT1 is the primary methyltransferase that deposits the ADMA mark, and it accounts for over 90% of this type of methylation. Here, we show that with the loss of PRMT1 activity, there are major increases in global MMA and SDMA levels, as detected by type-specific antibodies. Amino acid analysis confirms that MMA and SDMA levels accumulate when ADMA levels are reduced. These findings reveal the dynamic interplay between different arginine methylation types in the cells, and that the pre-existence of the dominant ADMA mark can block the occurrence of SDMA and MMA marks on the same substrate. This study provides clear evidence of competition for different arginine methylation types on the same substrates.
Epigenetics is an emerging field that demands selective cell-permeable chemical probes to perturb, especially in vivo, the activity of specific enzymes involved in modulating the epigenetic codes. Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) is a coactivator of estrogen receptor ? (ER?), the main target in human breast cancer. We previously showed that twofold overexpression of CARM1 in MCF7 breast cancer cells increased the expression of ER?-target genes involved in differentiation and reduced cell proliferation, thus leading to the hypothesis that activating CARM1 by chemical activators might be therapeutically effective in breast cancer. Selective, potent, cell-permeable CARM1 activators will be essential to test this hypothesis. Here we report the development of a cell-based, time-resolved (TR) FRET assay that uses poly(A) binding protein 1 (PABP1) methylation to monitor cellular activity of CARM1. The LanthaScreen TR-FRET assay uses MCF7 cells expressing GFP-PABP1 fusion protein through BacMam gene delivery system, methyl-PABP1 specific antibody, and terbium-labeled secondary antibody. This assay has been validated as reflecting the expression and/or activity of CARM1 and optimized for high throughput screening to identify CARM1 allosteric activators. This TR-FRET platform serves as a generic tool for functional screening of cell-permeable, chemical modulators of CARM1 for elucidation of its in vivo functions.
We describe the discovery of UNC1215, a potent and selective chemical probe for the methyllysine (Kme) reading function of L3MBTL3, a member of the malignant brain tumor (MBT) family of chromatin-interacting transcriptional repressors. UNC1215 binds L3MBTL3 with a K(d) of 120 nM, competitively displacing mono- or dimethyllysine-containing peptides, and is greater than 50-fold more potent toward L3MBTL3 than other members of the MBT family while also demonstrating selectivity against more than 200 other reader domains examined. X-ray crystallography identified a unique 2:2 polyvalent mode of interaction between UNC1215 and L3MBTL3. In cells, UNC1215 is nontoxic and directly binds L3MBTL3 via the Kme-binding pocket of the MBT domains. UNC1215 increases the cellular mobility of GFP-L3MBTL3 fusion proteins, and point mutants that disrupt the Kme-binding function of GFP-L3MBTL3 phenocopy the effects of UNC1215 on localization. Finally, UNC1215 was used to reveal a new Kme-dependent interaction of L3MBTL3 with BCLAF1, a protein implicated in DNA damage repair and apoptosis.
In epigenetic signaling pathways, histone tails are heavily modified, resulting in the recruitment of effector molecules that can influence transcription. One such molecule, plant homeodomain finger protein 20 (PHF20), uses a Tudor domain to read dimethyl lysine residues and is a known component of the MOF (male absent on the first) histone acetyltransferase protein complex, suggesting it plays a role in the cross-talk between lysine methylation and histone acetylation. We sought to investigate the biological role of PHF20 by generating a knockout mouse. Without PHF20, mice die shortly after birth and display a wide variety of phenotypes within the skeletal and hematopoietic systems. Mechanistically, PHF20 is not required for maintaining the global H4K16 acetylation levels or locus specific histone acetylation but instead works downstream in transcriptional regulation of MOF target genes.
DNA CpG methylation and histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation are two major repressive epigenetic modifications, and these methylations are positively correlated with one another in chromatin. Here we show that G9a or G9a-like protein (GLP) dimethylate the amino-terminal lysine 44 (K44) of mouse Dnmt3a (equivalent to K47 of human DNMT3A) in vitro and in cells overexpressing G9a or GLP. The chromodomain of MPP8 recognizes the dimethylated Dnmt3aK44me2. MPP8 also interacts with self-methylated GLP in a methylation-dependent manner. The MPP8 chromodomain forms a dimer in solution and in crystals, suggesting that a dimeric MPP8 molecule could bridge the methylated Dnmt3a and GLP, resulting in a silencing complex of Dnmt3a-MPP8-GLP/G9a on chromatin templates. Together, these findings provide a molecular explanation, at least in part, for the co-occurrence of DNA methylation and H3K9 methylation in chromatin.
Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) represents a valuable target for hormone-dependent tumors such as prostate and breast cancers. Here we report the enzyme and cellular characterization of the 1-benzyl-3,5-bis(3-bromo-4-hydroxybenzylidene)piperidin-4-one (7g) and its analogues 8a-l. Among them, 7g, 8e, and 8l displayed high and selective CARM1 inhibition, with lower or no activity against a panel of different PRMTs or HKMTs. In human LNCaP cells, 7g showed a significant dose-dependent reduction of the PSA promoter activity.
Peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) catalyzes the posttranslational citrullination of selected proteins in a calcium dependent manner. The PAD4 isoform has been implicated in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, some types of cancer, and plays a role in gene regulation. However, the substrate selectivity of PAD4 is not well defined, nor is the impact of citrullination on many other pathways. Here, a high-density protein array is used as a primary screen to identify 40 previously unreported PAD4 substrates, 10 of which are selected and verified in a cell lysate-based secondary assay. One of the most prominent hits, human 40S ribosomal protein S2 (RPS2), is characterized in detail. PAD4 citrullinates the Arg-Gly repeat region of RPS2, which is also an established site for Arg methylation by protein arginine methyltransferase 3 (PRMT3). As in other systems, crosstalk is observed; citrullination and methylation modifications are found to be antagonistic to each other, suggesting a conserved posttranslational regulatory strategy. Both PAD4 and PRMT3 are found to co-sediment with the free 40S ribosomal subunit fraction from cell extracts. These findings are consistent with participation of citrullination in the regulation of RPS2 and ribosome assembly. This application of protein arrays to reveal new PAD4 substrates suggests a role for citrullination in a number of different cellular pathways.
Arginine methylation is an epigenetic modification that receives increasing interest as it plays an important role in several diseases. This is especially true for hormone-dependent cancer, seeing that histone methylation by arginine methyltransferase I (PRMT1) is involved in the activation of sexual hormone receptors. Therefore, PRMT inhibitors are potential drugs and interesting tools for cell biology. A dapsone derivative called allantodapsone previously identified by our group served as a lead structure for inhibitor synthesis. Acylated derivatives of p-aminobenzenesulfonamides and the antilepra drug dapsone were identified as new inhibitors of PRMT1 by in vitro testing. The bis-chloroacetyl amide of dapsone selectively inhibited human PRMT1 in the low micromolar region and was selective for PRMT1 as compared to the arginine methyltransferase CARM1 and the lysine methyltransferase Set7/9. It showed anticancer activity on MCF7a and LNCaP cells and blocked androgen dependent transcription specifically in a reporter gene system. Likewise, a transcriptional block was also demonstrated in LNCaP cells using quantitative RT-PCR on the mRNA of androgen dependent genes.
M-phase phosphoprotein 8 (MPP8) harbors an N-terminal chromodomain and a C-terminal ankyrin repeat domain. MPP8, via its chromodomain, binds histone H3 peptide tri- or di-methylated at lysine 9 (H3K9me3/H3K9me2) in submicromolar affinity. We determined the crystal structure of MPP8 chromodomain in complex with H3K9me3 peptide. MPP8 interacts with at least six histone H3 residues from glutamine 5 to serine 10, enabling its ability to distinguish lysine-9-containing peptide (QTARKS) from that of lysine 27 (KAARKS), both sharing the ARKS sequence. A partial hydrophobic cage with three aromatic residues (Phe59, Trp80 and Tyr83) and one aspartate (Asp87) encloses the methylated lysine 9. MPP8 has been reported to be phosphorylated in vivo, including the cage residue Tyr83 and the succeeding Thr84 and Ser85. Modeling a phosphate group onto the side-chain hydroxyl oxygen of Tyr83 suggests that the negatively charged phosphate group could enhance the binding of positively charged methyl-lysine or create a regulatory signal by allowing or inhibiting binding of other protein(s).
Multiple enzymes and enzymatic complexes coordinately regulate the addition and removal of post-translational modifications on histone proteins. The oncoprotein Ash2L is a component of the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) family members 1-4, Setd1A, and Setd1B mammalian histone H3K4 methyltransferase complexes and is essential to maintain global trimethylation of histone H3K4. However, regulation of these complexes at the level of expression and activity remains poorly understood. In this report, we demonstrate that Ash2L is methylated on arginine residues both in vitro and in cells. We found that both protein-arginine methyltransferases 1 and 5 methylate Arg-296 within Ash2L. These findings are the first to demonstrate that post-translational modifications occur on the Ash2L protein and provide a novel example of cross-talk between chromatin-modifying enzyme complexes.
The polyketide natural product borrelidin 1 is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis and spontaneous metastasis. Affinity biopanning of a phage display library of colon tumor cell cDNAs identified the tandem WW domains of spliceosome-associated protein formin binding protein 21 (FBP21) as a novel molecular target of borrelidin, suggesting that borrelidin may act as a modulator of alternative splicing. In support of this idea, 1, and its more selective analog 2, bound to purified recombinant WW domains of FBP21. They also altered the ratio of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoforms in retinal pigmented endothelial (RPE) cells in favour of anti-angiogenic isoforms. Transfection of RPE cells with FBP21 altered the ratio in favour of pro-angiogenic VEGF isoforms, an effect inhibited by 2. These data implicate FBP21 in the regulation of alternative splicing and suggest the potential of borrelidin analogs as tools to deconvolute key steps of spliceosome function.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can undergo post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation, glycosylation and ubiquitylation, leading to diverse physiological consequences and modulation of its biological activity. There is increasing evidence that methylation may parallel other post-translational modifications in the regulation of various biological processes. It is still not known, however, whether EGFR is regulated by this post-translational event. Here, we show that EGFR Arg 1175 is methylated by an arginine methyltransferase, PRMT5. Arg 1175 methylation positively modulates EGF-induced EGFR trans-autophosphorylation at Tyr 1173, which governs ERK activation. Abolishment of Arg 1175 methylation enhances EGF-stimulated ERK activation by reducing SHP1 recruitment to EGFR, resulting in augmented cell proliferation, migration and invasion of EGFR-expressing cells. Therefore, we propose a model in which the regulatory crosstalk between PRMT5-mediated Arg 1175 methylation and EGF-induced Tyr 1173 phosphorylation attenuates EGFR-mediated ERK activation.
Tumor suppression by p53 and BRCA1 involves regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, and DNA repair and is influenced by transcriptional coactivators and post-translational modifications. Here we show that coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) methylates Arg 754 in the KIX region of coactivator p300. Methylated p300 and p300 protein fragments are preferentially recognized by BRCT domains of BRCA1, identifying the BRCT domain as a novel methylarginine-binding module. CARM1 and p300 cooperate with BRCA1 and p53 to induce expression of the critical cell cycle and proliferation regulator p21(WAF1/CIP1) in response to DNA damage. This induction was severely attenuated by elimination of CARM1 or its methyltransferase activity, or by mutation of Arg 754 of p300. Absence of CARM1 methyltransferase activity led to failure of cells to arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle in response to DNA damage. CARM1 methyltransferase activity was required for induction of some p53 target genes (p21 and Gadd45) but not others (Bax) by DNA damage. Recruitment of BRCA1 to the p53-binding region of the p21 promoter in response to DNA damage required methylation of Arg 754 of p300 by CARM1. Thus, coactivator methylation may be crucial for fine-tuning the tumor suppressor function of BRCA1 and other BRCT domain proteins.
Worker and queen bees are genetically indistinguishable. However, queen bees are fertile, larger and have a longer lifespan than their female worker counterparts. Differential feeding of larvae with royal jelly controls this caste switching. There is emerging evidence that the queen-bee phenotype is driven by epigenetic mechanisms. In this study, we show that royal jelly--the secretion produced by the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker bees--has histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) activity. A fatty acid, (E)-10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10HDA), which accounts for up to 5% of royal jelly, harbours this HDACi activity. Furthermore, 10HDA can reactivate the expression of epigenetically silenced genes in mammalian cells. Thus, the epigenetic regulation of queen-bee development is probably driven, in part, by HDACi activity in royal jelly.
Signaling via the methylation of lysine residues in proteins has been linked to diverse biological and disease processes, yet the catalytic activity and substrate specificity of many human protein lysine methyltransferases (PKMTs) are unknown. We screened over 40 candidate PKMTs and identified SETD6 as a methyltransferase that monomethylated chromatin-associated transcription factor NF-?B subunit RelA at Lys310 (RelAK310me1). SETD6-mediated methylation rendered RelA inert and attenuated RelA-driven transcriptional programs, including inflammatory responses in primary immune cells. RelAK310me1 was recognized by the ankryin repeat of the histone methyltransferase GLP, which under basal conditions promoted a repressed chromatin state at RelA target genes through GLP-mediated methylation of histone H3 Lys9 (H3K9). NF-?B-activation-linked phosphorylation of RelA at Ser311 by protein kinase C-? (PKC-?) blocked the binding of GLP to RelAK310me1 and relieved repression of the target gene. Our findings establish a previously uncharacterized mechanism by which chromatin signaling regulates inflammation programs.
An important issue in epigenetic research is to understand how the numerous methylation marks associated with histone and certain nonhistone proteins are recognized and interpreted by the hundreds of chromatin-binding modules (CBMs) in a cell to control chromatin state, gene expression, and other cellular functions. We have assembled a peptide chip that represents known and putative lysine methylation marks on histones and p53 and probed the chip for binding to a group of CBMs to obtain a comprehensive interaction network mediated by lysine methylation. Interactions revealed by the peptide array screening were validated by in-solution binding assays. This study not only recapitulated known interactions but also uncovered new ones. A novel heterochromatin protein 1 beta (HP1?) chromodomain-binding site on histone H3, H3K23me, was discovered from the peptide array screen and subsequently verified by mass spectrometry. Data from peptide pull-down and colocalization in cells suggest that, besides the H3K9me mark, H3K23me may play a role in facilitating the recruitment of HP1? to the heterochromatin. Extending the peptide array and mass spectrometric approach presented here to more histone marks and CBMs would eventually afford a comprehensive specificity and interaction map to aid epigenetic studies.
Arginine methylation is a common posttranslational modification (PTM). This type of PTM occurs on both nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins, and is particularly abundant on shuttling proteins. In this review, we will focus on one aspect of this PTM: the diverse roles that arginine methylation of the core histone tails play in regulating chromatin function. A family of nine protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) catalyze methylation reactions, and a subset target histones. Importantly, arginine methylation of histone tails can promote or prevent the docking of key transcriptional effector molecules, thus playing a central role in the orchestration of the histone code.
Arginine methylation is a common post-translational modification that has been strongly implicated in transcriptional regulation. The arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) were first reported as transcriptional coactivators for the estrogen and androgen receptors. Compounds that inhibit these enzymes will provide us with valuable tools for dissecting the roles of these enzymes in cells, and will possibly also have therapeutic applications. In order to identify such inhibitors of the PRMTs, we have previously performed a high-throughput screen using a small molecule library. These compounds were named arginine methyltransferase inhibitors (AMIs). The majority of these inhibitors were polyphenols, and one in particular (AMI-18) shared additional features with a group of known xenoestrogens. We, thus, tested a panel of xenoestrogens and found that a number of them possess the ability to inhibit PRMT activity, in vitro. These inhibitors primarily target CARM1, and include licochalcone A, kepone, benzyl 4-hydroxybenzoate, and tamoxifen. We developed a cell-based reporter system for CARM1 activity, and showed that tamoxifen (IC(50) =30 ?M) inhibits this PRMT. The ability of these compounds to regulate the activity of transcriptional coactivators may be an unappreciated mechanism of action for xenoestrogens, and might also explain the efficacy of high-dose tamoxifen treatment on estrogen receptor negative cancers.
The p53 tumor suppressor gene contains a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that results in either an arginine or proline at position 72 of the p53 protein. This polymorphism affects the apoptotic activity of p53 but the mechanistic basis and physiologic relevance of this phenotypic difference remain unclear. Here, we describe the development of mouse models for the p53 R72P SNP using two different approaches. In both sets of models, the human or humanized p53 proteins are functional as evidenced by the transcriptional induction of p53 target genes in response to DNA damage and the suppression of early lymphomagenesis. Consistent with in vitro studies, mice expressing the 72R variant protein (p53R) have a greater apoptotic response to several stimuli compared with mice expressing the p53P variant. Molecular studies suggest that both transcriptional and nontranscriptional mechanisms may contribute to the differential abilities of the p53 variants to induce apoptosis. Despite a difference in the acute response to UV radiation, no difference in the tumorigenic response to chronic UV exposure was observed between the polymorphic mouse models. These findings suggest that under at least some conditions, the modulation of apoptosis by the R72P polymorphism does not affect the process of carcinogenesis.
Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase I (CARM1; PRMT4) regulates gene expression by multiple mechanisms including methylation of histones and coactivation of steroid receptor transcription. Mice lacking CARM1 are small, fail to breathe and die shortly after birth, demonstrating the crucial role of CARM1 in development. In adults, CARM1 is overexpressed in human grade-III breast tumors and prostate adenocarcinomas, and knockdown of CARM1 inhibits proliferation of breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that loss of CARM1 in mouse embryos would inhibit pulmonary cell proliferation, resulting in respiratory distress. By contrast, we report here that loss of CARM1 results in hyperproliferation of pulmonary epithelial cells during embryonic development. The lungs of newborn mice lacking CARM1 have substantially reduced airspace compared with their wild-type littermates. In the absence of CARM1, alveolar type II cells show increased proliferation. Electron microscopic analyses demonstrate that lungs from mice lacking CARM1 have immature alveolar type II cells and an absence of alveolar type I cells. Gene expression analysis reveals a dysregulation of cell cycle genes and markers of differentiation in the Carm1 knockout lung. Furthermore, there is an overlap in gene expression in the Carm1 knockout and the glucocorticoid receptor knockout lung, suggesting that hyperproliferation and lack of maturation of the alveolar cells are at least in part caused by attenuation of glucocorticoid-mediated signaling. These results demonstrate for the first time that CARM1 inhibits pulmonary cell proliferation and is required for proper differentiation of alveolar cells.
H3K9 methylation has been linked to a variety of biological processes including position-effect variegation, heterochromatin formation and transcriptional regulation. To further understand the function of H3K9 methylation, we have identified and characterized MPP8 as a methyl-H3K9-binding protein. MPP8 displays an elevated expression pattern in various human carcinoma cells, whereas knocking-down MPP8 results in the loss of cellular mesenchymal marker as well as the reduction of tumour cell migration and invasiveness, suggesting that MPP8 contributes to tumour progression. Following characterization demonstrates that MPP8 targets the E-cadherin gene promoter and modulates the expression of this key regulator of cell behaviour and tumour progression through its methyl-H3K9 binding. Furthermore, MPP8 interacts with H3K9 methyltransferases GLP and ESET, as well as DNA methyltransferase 3A. MPP8 knockdown decreases DNA methylation on E-cadherin CpG island attended by the loss of DNMT3A localization, indicating MPP8 also directs DNA methylation. Together, our results suggest a model by which MPP8 recognizes methyl-H3K9 marks and directs DNA methylation to repress tumour suppressor gene expression and, in turn, has an important function in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis.
Dynamic histone lysine methylation involves the activities of modifying enzymes (writers), enzymes removing modifications (erasers), and readers of the histone code. One common feature of these activities is the recognition of lysines in methylated and unmethylated states, whether they are substrates, reaction products, or binding partners. We applied the concept of adding a lysine mimic to an established inhibitor (BIX-01294) of histone H3 lysine 9 methyltransferases G9a and G9a-like protein by including a 5-aminopentyloxy moiety, which is inserted into the target lysine-binding channel and becomes methylated by G9a-like protein, albeit slowly. The compound enhances its potency in vitro and reduces cell toxicity in vivo. We suggest that adding a lysine or methyl-lysine mimic should be considered in the design of small-molecule inhibitors for other methyl-lysine writers, erasers, and readers.
Although rapid, membrane-activated estrogen receptor (ER) signaling is no longer controversial, the biological function of this nongenomic signaling is not fully characterized. We found that rapid signaling from membrane-associated ER regulates the histone methyltransferase enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (EZH2). In response to both 17beta-estradiol (E2) and the xenoestrogen diethylstilbestrol, ER signaling via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B phosphorylates EZH2 at S21, reducing levels of trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 in hormone-responsive cells. During windows of uterine development that are susceptible to developmental reprogramming, activation of this ER signaling pathway by diethylstilbestrol resulted in phosphorylation of EZH2 and reduced levels of trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 in chromatin of the developing uterus. Furthermore, activation of nongenomic signaling reprogrammed the expression profile of estrogen-responsive genes in uterine myometrial cells, suggesting this as a potential mechanism for developmental reprogramming caused by early-life exposure to xenoestrogens. These data demonstrate that rapid ER signaling provides a direct linkage between xenoestrogen-induced nuclear hormone receptor signaling and modulation of the epigenetic machinery during tissue development.
The tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (Tsc2) gene product, tuberin, acts as a negative regulator of mTOR signaling, and loss of tuberin function leads to tumors of the brain, skin, kidney, heart, and lungs. Previous studies have shown that loss of tuberin function affects the stability and subcellular localization of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CKI) p27, although the mechanism(s) by which tuberin modulates p27 stability has/have not been elucidated. Previous studies have also shown that AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which functions in an energy-sensing pathway in the cell, becomes activated in the absence of tuberin. Here we show that in Tsc2-null tumors and cell lines, AMPK activation correlates with an increase in p27 levels, and inhibition of AMPK signaling decreases p27 levels in these cells. In addition, activation of AMPK led to phosphorylation of p27 at the conserved terminal threonine residue of murine p27 (T197) in both in vitro kinase assays and in cells. Phosphorylation of p27 at T197 led to increased interaction between p27 and 14-3-3 proteins and increased the protein stability of p27. Furthermore, activation of AMPK signaling promoted the interaction between p27 and 14-3-3 proteins and increased the stability of the p27 protein in a manner that was dependent on T197. These data identify a conserved mechanism for the regulation of p27 stability via phosphorylation at the terminal threonine (mT197/hT198) and binding of 14-3-3 proteins, which when AMPK is activated results in stabilization of the p27 protein.
Specific sites of histone tail methylation are associated with transcriptional activity at gene loci. These methyl marks are interpreted by effector molecules, which harbor protein domains that bind the methylated motifs and facilitate either active or inactive states of transcription. CARM1 and PRMT1 are transcriptional coactivators that deposit H3R17me2a and H4R3me2a marks, respectively. We used a protein domain microarray approach to identify the Tudor domain-containing protein TDRD3 as a "reader" of these marks. Importantly, TDRD3 itself is a transcriptional coactivator. This coactivator activity requires an intact Tudor domain. TDRD3 is recruited to an estrogen-responsive element in a CARM1-dependent manner. Furthermore, ChIP-seq analysis of TDRD3 reveals that it is predominantly localized to transcriptional start sites. Thus, TDRD3 is an effector molecule that promotes transcription by binding methylarginine marks on histone tails.
Here we report the synthesis of a number of compounds structurally related to arginine methyltransferase inhibitor 1 (AMI-1). The structural alterations that we made included: 1) the substitution of the sulfonic groups with the bioisosteric carboxylic groups; 2) the replacement of the ureidic function with a bis-amidic moiety; 3) the introduction of a N-containing basic moiety; and 4) the positional isomerization of the aminohydroxynaphthoic moiety. We have assessed the biological activity of these compounds against a panel of arginine methyltransferases (fungal RmtA, hPRMT1, hCARM1, hPRMT3, hPRMT6) and a lysine methyltransferase (SET7/9) using histone and nonhistone proteins as substrates. Molecular modeling studies for a deep binding-mode analysis of test compounds were also performed. The bis-carboxylic acid derivatives 1 b and 7 b emerged as the most effective PRMT inhibitors, both in vitro and in vivo, being comparable or even better than the reference compound (AMI-1) and practically inactive against the lysine methyltransferase SET7/9.
Methylation of lysine residues on the tails of histone proteins is a major determinant of the transcription state of associated DNA coding regions. The interplay among methylation states and other histone modifications to direct transcriptional outcome is referred to as the histone code. In addition to histone methyltransferases and demethylases which function to modify the methylation state of lysine sidechains, other proteins recognize specific histone methylation marks essentially serving as code readers. While these interactions are highly specific with respect to site and methylation state of particular lysine residues, they are generally weak and therefore difficult to monitor by traditional assay techniques. Herein, we present the design and implementation of a homogeneous, miniaturizable, and sensitive assay for histone methylation-dependent interactions. We use AlphaScreen, a chemiluminescence-based technique, to monitor the interactions of chromodomains (MPP8, HP1beta and CHD1), tudor domains (JMJD2A) and plant homeodomains (RAG2) with their cognate trimethyllysine histone partners. The utility of the method was demonstrated by profiling the binding specificities of chromo- and tudor domains toward several histone marks. The simplicity of design and the sensitive and robust nature of this assay should make it applicable to a range of epigenetic studies, including the search for novel inhibitors of methylation-dependent interactions.
CARM1 is one of nine protein arginine methyltransferases that methylate arginine residues in proteins. CARM1 is recruited by many different transcription factors as a positive regulator. Gene targeting of CARM1 in mice has been performed, and knock-out mice, which are smaller than their wild-type littermates, die just after birth. It has been proposed that CARM1 has functions that are independent of its enzymatic activity. Indeed, CARM1 is found to interact with a number of proteins and may have a scaffolding function in this context. However, CARM1 methylates histone H3, PABP1, AIB1, and a number of splicing factors, which strongly suggests that its impact on transcription and splicing is primarily through its ability to modify these substrates. To unequivocally establish the importance of CARM1 enzymatic activity in vivo, we generated an enzyme-dead knock-in of this protein arginine methyltransferase. We determined that knock-in cells and mice have defects similar to those seen in their knock-out counterparts with respect to the time of embryo lethality, T cell development, adipocyte differentiation, and transcriptional coactivator activity. CARM1 requires its enzymatic activity for all of its known cellular functions. Thus, small molecule inhibitors of CARM1 will incapacitate all of the enzymes cellular functions.
Chondrogenesis and subsequent endochondral ossification are processes tightly regulated by the transcription factor Sox9 (SRY-related high mobility group-Box gene 9), but molecular mechanisms underlying this activity remain unclear. Here we report that coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) regulates chondrocyte proliferation via arginine methylation of Sox9.
WWOX, the gene that spans the second most common human chromosomal fragile site, FRA16D, is inactivated in multiple human cancers and behaves as a suppressor of tumor growth. Since we are interested in understanding WWOX function in both normal and cancer tissues we generated mice harboring a conditional Wwox allele by flanking Exon 1 of the Wwox gene with LoxP sites. Wwox knockout (KO) mice were developed by breeding with transgenic mice carrying the Cre-recombinase gene under the control of the adenovirus EIIA promoter. We found that Wwox KO mice suffered from severe metabolic defect(s) resulting in growth retardation and all mice died by 3 wk of age. All Wwox KO mice displayed significant hypocapnia suggesting a state of metabolic acidosis. This finding and the known high expression of Wwox in kidney tubules suggest a role for Wwox in acid/base balance. Importantly, Wwox KO mice displayed histopathological and hematological signs of impaired hematopoiesis, leukopenia, and splenic atrophy. Impaired hematopoiesis can also be a contributing factor to metabolic acidosis and death. Hypoglycemia and hypocalcemia was also observed affecting the KO mice. In addition, bone metabolic defects were evident in Wwox KO mice. Bones were smaller and thinner having reduced bone volume as a consequence of a defect in mineralization. No evidence of spontaneous neoplasia was observed in Wwox KO mice. We have generated a new mouse model to inactivate the Wwox tumor suppressor gene conditionally. This will greatly facilitate the functional analysis of Wwox in adult mice and will allow investigating neoplastic transformation in specific target tissues.
Knowledge of protein domains that function as the biological effectors for diverse post-translational modifications of histones is critical for understanding how nuclear and epigenetic programs are established. Indeed, mutations of chromatin effector domains found within several proteins are associated with multiple human pathologies, including cancer and immunodeficiency syndromes. To date, relatively few effector domains have been identified in comparison to the number of modifications present on histone and non-histone proteins. Here we describe the generation and application of human modified peptide microarrays as a platform for high-throughput discovery of chromatin effectors and for epitope-specificity analysis of antibodies commonly utilized in chromatin research. Screening with a library containing a majority of the Royal Family domains present in the human proteome led to the discovery of TDRD7, JMJ2C, and MPP8 as three new modified histone-binding proteins. Thus, we propose that peptide microarray methodologies are a powerful new tool for elucidating molecular interactions at chromatin.
FF domains are small protein-protein interaction modules that have two flanking conserved phenylalanine residues. They are present in proteins involved in transcription, RNA splicing, and signal transduction, and often exist in tandem arrays. Although several individual FF domain structures have been determined by NMR, the tandem nature of most FF domains has not been revealed. Here we report the 2.7-A-resolution crystal structure of the first three FF domains of the human transcription elongation factor CA150. Each FF domain is composed of three alpha-helices and a 3(10) helix between alpha-helix 2 and alpha-helix 3. The most striking feature of the structure is that an FF domain is connected to the next by an alpha-helix that continues from helix 3 to helix 1 of the next. The consequent elongated arrangement allows exposure of many charged residues within the region that can be engaged in interaction with other molecules. Binding studies using a peptide ligand suggest that a specific conformation of the FF domains might be required to achieve higher-affinity binding. Additionally, we explore potential DNA binding of the FF construct used in this study. Overall, we provide the first crystal structure of an FF domain and insights into the tandem nature of the FF domains and suggest that, in addition to protein binding, FF domains might be involved in DNA binding.
IL-7 is a cytokine that is required for T-cell development and homeostasis as well as for lymph node organogenesis. Despite the importance of IL-7 in the immune system and its potential therapeutic relevance, questions remain regarding the sites of IL-7 synthesis, specific cell types involved and molecular mechanisms regulating IL-7 expression. To address these issues, we generated two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse lines in which IL-7 regulatory elements drive expression of either Cre recombinase or a human CD25 (hCD25) cell surface reporter molecule. Expression of the IL-7.hCD25 BAC transgene, detected by reactivity with anti-hCD25 antibody, mimicked endogenous IL-7 expression. Fetal and adult tissues from crosses between IL-7.Cre transgenic mice and Rosa26R or R26-EYFP reporters demonstrated X-gal or YFP staining in tissues known to express endogenous IL-7 at some stage during development. These transgenic lines provide novel genetic tools to identify IL-7 producing cells in various tissues and to manipulate gene expression selectively in IL-7 expressing cells.
Methylation of arginine residues is a widespread post-translational modification of proteins catalyzed by a small family of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs). Functionally, the modification appears to regulate protein functions and interactions that affect gene regulation, signalling and subcellular localization of proteins and nucleic acids. All members have been, to different degrees, characterized individually and their implication in cellular processes has been inferred from characterizing substrates and interactions. Here, we report the first comprehensive comparison of all eight canonical members of the human PRMT family with respect to subcellular localization and dynamics in living cells. We show that the individual family members differ significantly in their properties, as well as in their substrate specificities, suggesting that they fulfil distinctive, non-redundant functions in vivo. In addition, certain PRMTs display different subcellular localization in different cell types, implicating cell- and tissue-specific mechanisms for regulating PRMT functions.
Temporal regulation of gene expression is a hallmark of cellular differentiation pathways, yet the mechanisms controlling the timing of expression for different classes of differentiation-specific genes are not well understood. We previously demonstrated that the class II arginine methyltransferase Prmt5 was required for skeletal muscle differentiation at the early stages of myogenesis (C. S. Dacwag, Y. Ohkawa, S. Pal, S. Sif, and A. N. Imbalzano, Mol. Cell. Biol. 27:384-394, 2007). Specifically, when Prmt5 levels were reduced, the ATP-dependent SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling enzymes could not interact with or remodel the promoter of myogenin, an essential early gene. Here we investigated the requirement for Prmt5 and the class I arginine methyltransferase Carm1/Prmt4 in the temporal control of myogenesis. Both arginine methyltransferases could bind to and modify histones at late-gene regulatory sequences. However, the two enzymes showed sequential requirements for gene expression. Prmt5 was required for early-gene expression but dispensable for late-gene expression. Carm1/Prmt4 was required for late- but not for early-gene expression. The reason for the requirement for Carm1/Prmt4 at late genes was to facilitate SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling enzyme interaction and remodeling at late-gene loci. Thus, distinct arginine methyltransferases are employed at different times of skeletal muscle differentiation for the purpose of facilitating ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling enzyme interaction and function at myogenic genes.
The covalent marking of proteins by methyl group addition to arginine residues can promote their recognition by binding partners or can modulate their biological activity. A small family of gene products that catalyze such methylation reactions in eukaryotes (PRMTs) works in conjunction with a changing cast of associated subunits to recognize distinct cellular substrates. These reactions display many of the attributes of reversible covalent modifications such as protein phosphorylation or protein lysine methylation; however, it is unclear to what extent protein arginine demethylation occurs. Physiological roles for protein arginine methylation have been established in signal transduction, mRNA splicing, transcriptional control, DNA repair, and protein translocation.
Histone lysine methylation is an important epigenetic mark that regulates gene expression and chromatin organization. G9a and G9a-like protein (GLP) are euchromatin-associated methyltransferases that repress transcription by methylating histone H3 Lys9. BIX-01294 was originally identified as a G9a inhibitor during a chemical library screen of small molecules and has previously been used in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells. Here we present the crystal structure of the catalytic SET domain of GLP in complex with BIX-01294 and S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine. The inhibitor is bound in the substrate peptide groove at the location where the histone H3 residues N-terminal to the target lysine lie in the previously solved structure of the complex with histone peptide. The inhibitor resembles the bound conformation of histone H3 Lys4 to Arg8, and is positioned in place by residues specific for G9a and GLP through specific interactions.
Pregnane X receptor (PXR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor, regulating gene expression of enzymes and transporters involved in xenobiotic/drug metabolism. Here, we report that protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) is required for the transcriptional activity of PXR. PRMT1 regulates expression of numerous genes, including nuclear receptor-regulated transcription, through methylating histone and non-histone proteins. Co-immunoprecipitation and histone methyltransferase assays revealed that PRMT1 is a major histone methyltransferase associated with PXR. The PXR ligand-binding domain is responsible for PXR-PRMT1 interaction as determined by mammalian two-hybrid and glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assays. The chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed that PRMT1 was recruited to the regulatory region of the PXR target gene cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), with a concomitant methylation of arginine 3 of histone H4, in response to the PXR agonist rifampicin. In mammalian cells, small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown and gene deletion of PRMT1 greatly diminished the transcriptional activity of PXR, suggesting an indispensable role of PRMT1 in PXR-regulated gene expression. Interestingly, PXR appears to have a reciprocal effect on the PRMT1 functions by regulating its cellular compartmentalization as well as its substrate specificity. Taken together, these results demonstrated mutual interactions and functional interplays between PXR and PRMT1, and this interaction may be important for the epigenetics of PXR-regulated gene expression.
Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) is a protein arginine methyltransferase that methylates histones and transcriptional regulators. We previously reported that the absence of CARM1 partially blocks thymocyte differentiation at embryonic day 18.5 (E18.5). In this study, we find that reduced thymopoiesis in Carm1(-/-) mice is due to a defect in the fetal hematopoietic compartment rather than in the thymic stroma. To determine the cellular basis for impaired thymopoiesis, we examined the number and function of fetal liver (FL) and bone marrow cells. Despite markedly reduced cellularity of hematopoietic progenitors in E18.5 bone marrow, the number of long-term hematopoietic stem cells and downstream subsets was not reduced in Carm1(-/-) E14.5 or E18.5 FL. Nevertheless, competitive reconstitution assays revealed a deficit in the ability of Carm1(-/-) FL cells to contribute to hematopoiesis. Furthermore, impaired differentiation of Carm1(-/-) FL cells in a CARM1-sufficient host showed that CARM1 is required cell autonomously in hematopoietic cells. Coculture of Carm1(-/-) FL cells on OP9-DL1 monolayers showed that CARM1 is required for survival of hematopoietic progenitors under conditions that promote differentiation. Taken together, this report demonstrates that CARM1 is a key epigenetic regulator of hematopoiesis that affects multiple lineages at various stages of differentiation.
There are nine protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) encoded in mammalian genomes, the protein products of which catalyse three types of arginine methylation--monomethylation and two types of dimethylation. Protein arginine methylation is an abundant modification that has been implicated in signal transduction, gene transcription, DNA repair and mRNA splicing, among others. Studies have only recently linked this modification to carcinogenesis and metastasis. Sequencing studies have not generally found alterations to the PRMTs; however, overexpression of these enzymes is often associated with various cancers, which might make some of them viable targets for therapeutic strategies.
In this issue, Lee et al. (2012) demonstrate that the degradation of ROR? is regulated by the EZH2-DCAF1/DDB1/CUL4 proteasome axis, thus identifying protein methylation as a posttranslational modification that can orchestrate protein destruction through a motif termed the "methyl degron."
Arginine methylation is a common post-translational modification that is crucial in modulating gene expression at multiple critical levels. The arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) are envisaged as promising druggable targets, but their role in physiological and pathological pathways is far from being clear due to the limited number of modulators reported to date. In this effort, enzyme activators can be invaluable tools useful as gain-of-function reagents to interrogate the biological roles in cells and in vivo of PRMTs. Yet the identification of such molecules is rarely pursued. Herein we describe a series of aryl ureido acetamido indole carboxylates (dubbed "uracandolates"), able to increase the methylation of histone (H3) or nonhistone (polyadenylate-binding protein 1, PABP1) substrates induced by coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), both in in vitro and cellular settings. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of compounds acting as CARM1 activators.
A fundamental challenge in mammalian biology has been the elucidation of mechanisms linking DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications. Human UHRF1 (ubiquitin-like PHD and RING finger domain-containing 1) has multiple domains that bind chromatin, and it is implicated genetically in the maintenance of DNA methylation. However, molecular mechanisms underlying DNA methylation regulation by UHRF1 are poorly defined. Here we show that UHRF1 association with methylated histone H3 Lys9 (H3K9) is required for DNA methylation maintenance. We further show that UHRF1 association with H3K9 methylation is insensitive to adjacent H3 S10 phosphorylation--a known mitotic phospho-methyl switch. Notably, we demonstrate that UHRF1 mitotic chromatin association is necessary for DNA methylation maintenance through regulation of the stability of DNA methyltransferase-1. Collectively, our results define a previously unknown link between H3K9 methylation and the faithful epigenetic inheritance of DNA methylation, establishing a notable mitotic role for UHRF1 in this process.
Arginine methylation was discovered in the mid-1960s. About 15 years ago, the first protein arginine N-methyltransferase (PRMT) enzyme was described. The PRMT family now stands at nine members, and these enzymes play a key role in regulating a multitude of cellular events. The majority of the PRMTs have been deleted in mice, thus providing genetically tractable systems for in vivo and cell-based studies. These studies have implicated this posttranslational modification in chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, RNA processing, protein/RNA trafficking, signal transduction, and DNA repair. In this chapter, we introduce different approaches that have been developed to assess protein arginine methylation levels and characterize PRMT substrates.
PHF20 is a multidomain protein and subunit of a lysine acetyltransferase complex that acetylates histone H4 and p53 but whose function is unclear. Using biochemical, biophysical and cellular approaches, we determined that PHF20 is a direct regulator of p53. A Tudor domain in PHF20 recognized p53 dimethylated at Lys370 or Lys382 and a homodimeric form of this Tudor domain could associate with the two dimethylated sites on p53 with enhanced affinity, indicating a multivalent interaction. Association with PHF20 promotes stabilization and activation of p53 by diminishing Mdm2-mediated p53 ubiquitylation and degradation. PHF20 contributes to upregulation of p53 in response to DNA damage, and ectopic expression of PHF20 in different cell lines leads to phenotypic changes that are hallmarks of p53 activation. Overall our work establishes that PHF20 functions as an effector of p53 methylation that stabilizes and activates p53.
In skeletal muscle, asymmetrically dividing satellite stem cells give rise to committed satellite cells that transcribe the myogenic determination factor Myf5, a Pax7-target gene. We identified the arginine methyltransferase Carm1 as a Pax7 interacting protein and found that Carm1 specifically methylates multiple arginines in the N terminus of Pax7. Methylated Pax7 directly binds the C-terminal cleavage forms of the trithorax proteins MLL1/2 resulting in the recruitment of the ASH2L:MLL1/2:WDR5:RBBP5 histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex to regulatory enhancers and the proximal promoter of Myf5. Finally, Carm1 is required for the induction of de novo Myf5 transcription following asymmetric satellite stem cell divisions. We defined the C-terminal MLL region as a reader domain for the recognition of arginine methylated proteins such as Pax7. Thus, arginine methylation of Pax7 by Carm1 functions as a molecular switch controlling the epigenetic induction of Myf5 during satellite stem cell asymmetric division and entry into the myogenic program.
The FoxO family of transcription factors plays an important role in longevity and tumor suppression by regulating the expression of a wide range of target genes. FoxO3 has recently been found to be associated with extreme longevity in humans and to regulate the homeostasis of adult stem cell pools in mammals, which may contribute to longevity. The activity of FoxO3 is controlled by a variety of post-translational modifications that have been proposed to form a code affecting FoxO3 subcellular localization, DNA binding ability, protein-protein interactions and protein stability. Lysine methylation is a crucial post-translational modification on histones that regulates chromatin accessibility and is a key part of the histone code. However, whether lysine methylation plays a role in modulating FoxO3 activity has never been examined. Here we show that the methyltransferase Set9 directly methylates FoxO3 in vitro and in cells. Using a combination of tandem mass spectrometry and methyl-specific antibodies, we find that Set9 methylates FoxO3 at a single residue, lysine 271, a site previously known to be deacetylated by Sirt1. Methylation of FoxO3 by Set9 decreases FoxO3 protein stability, while moderately increasing FoxO3 transcriptional activity. The modulation of FoxO3 stability and activity by methylation may be critical for fine-tuning cellular responses to stress stimuli, which may in turn affect FoxO3s ability to promote tumor suppression and longevity.
SMN (Survival motor neuron protein) was characterized as a dimethyl-arginine binding protein over ten years ago. TDRD3 (Tudor domain-containing protein 3) and SPF30 (Splicing factor 30 kDa) were found to bind to various methyl-arginine proteins including Sm proteins as well later on. Recently, TDRD3 was shown to be a transcriptional coactivator, and its transcriptional activity is dependent on its ability to bind arginine-methylated histone marks. In this study, we systematically characterized the binding specificity and affinity of the Tudor domains of these three proteins quantitatively. Our results show that TDRD3 preferentially recognizes asymmetrical dimethylated arginine mark, and SMN is a very promiscuous effector molecule, which recognizes different arginine containing sequence motifs and preferentially binds symmetrical dimethylated arginine. SPF30 is the weakest methyl-arginine binder, which only binds the GAR motif sequences in our library. In addition, we also reported high-resolution crystal structures of the Tudor domain of TDRD3 in complex with two small molecules, which occupy the aromatic cage of TDRD3.
Cell proliferation in primary and metastatic tumors is a fundamental characteristic of advanced breast cancer. Further understanding of the mechanism underlying enhanced cell growth will be important in identifying novel prognostic markers and therapeutic targets. Here we demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a critical event in growth regulation of breast cancer cells. We found that phosphorylation of PCNA at tyrosine 211 (Y211) enhanced its association with the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl. We further demonstrated that c-Abl facilitates chromatin association of PCNA and is required for nuclear foci formation of PCNA in cells stressed by DNA damage as well as in unperturbed cells. Targeting Y211 phosphorylation of PCNA with a cell-permeable peptide inhibited the phosphorylation and reduced the PCNA-Abl interaction. These results show that PCNA signal transduction has an important impact on the growth regulation of breast cancer cells.
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