Apr 25, 2020

An optogenetic switch for the Set2 methyltransferase provides evidence for rapid transcription-dependent and independent dynamics of H3K36 methylation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. M. LernerB. D. Strahl


Histone H3 lysine 36 methylation (H3K36me) is a conserved histone modification associated with transcription and DNA repair. Although the effects of H3K36 methylation have been studied, the short-term genome-wide dynamics of H3K36me deposition and removal are not known. We established rapid and reversible optogenetic control for Set2, the sole H3K36 methyltransferase in yeast, by fusing the enzyme with the light activated nuclear shuttle (LANS) domain. Early H3K36me3 dynamics identified rapid methylation in vivo, with total H3K36me3 levels correlating with RNA abundance. Although genes exhibited disparate levels of H3K36 methylation, relative rates of H3K36me3 accumulation were largely linear and consistent across genes, suggesting a rate-limiting mechanism for H3K36me3 deposition. Removal H3K36me2/3 was also rapid and highly dependent on the demethylase Rph1. However, the per-gene rate of H3K36me3 loss weakly correlated with RNA abundance and followed exponential decay, suggesting H3K36 demethylases act in a global, stochastic manner.

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