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Genes Dev. 2002 Sep 1;16(17):2225-30.

Mitotic-specific methylation of histone H4 Lys 20 follows increased PR-Set7 expression and its localization to mitotic chromosomes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0733, USA.


We describe distinct patterns of histone methylation during human cell cycle progression. Histone H4 methyltransferase activity was found to be cell cycle-regulated, consistent with increased H4 Lys 20 methylation at mitosis. This increase closely followed the cell cycle-regulated expression of the H4 Lys 20 methyltransferase, PR-Set7. Localization of PR-Set7 to mitotic chromosomes and subsequent increase in H4 Lys 20 methylation were inversely correlated to transient H4 Lys 16 acetylation in early S-phase. These data suggest that H4 Lys 20 methylation by PR-Set7 during mitosis acts to antagonize H4 Lys 16 acetylation and to establish a mechanism by which this mark is epigenetically transmitted.

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