CXXC finger protein 1 restricts the Setd1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex to euchromatin.

The FEBS Journal
Courtney M TateDavid G Skalnik


CXXC finger protein 1 (Cfp1), encoded by the CXXC1 gene, is a component of the euchromatic Setd1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex, and is a critical regulator of histone methylation, cytosine methylation, cellular differentiation, and vertebrate development. Murine embryonic stem (ES) cells lacking Cfp1 (CXXC1(-/-)) are viable but show increased levels of global histone H3K4 methylation, suggesting that Cfp1 functions to inhibit or restrict the activity of the Setd1A histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex. The studies reported here reveal that ES cells lacking Cfp1 contain decreased levels of Setd1A and show subnuclear mislocalization of both Setd1A and trimethylation of histone H3K4 with regions of heterochromatin. Remarkably, structure-function studies reveal that expression of either the N-terminal fragment of Cfp1 (amino acids 1-367) or the C-terminal fragment of Cfp1 (amino acids 361-656) is sufficient to restore appropriate levels of Setd1A in CXXC1(-/-) ES cells. Furthermore, functional analysis of various Cfp1 point mutations reveals that retention of either Cfp1 DNA-binding activity or association with the Setd1 histone H3K4 methyltransferase complex is required to restore normal Setd1A levels. In contrast, expr...Continue Reading


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