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Mol Cell. 2005 Sep 16;19(6):849-56.

Molecular regulation of histone H3 trimethylation by COMPASS and the regulation of gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, 1402 South Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA.


The Set1-containing complex COMPASS, which is the yeast homolog of the human MLL complex, is required for mono-, di-, and trimethylation of lysine 4 of histone H3. We have performed a comparative global proteomic screen to better define the role of COMPASS in histone trimethylation. We report that both Cps60 and Cps40 components of COMPASS are required for proper histone H3 trimethylation, but not for proper regulation of telomere-associated gene silencing. Purified COMPASS lacking Cps60 can mono- and dimethylate but is not capable of trimethylating H3(K4). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies indicate that the loss subunits of COMPASS required for histone trimethylation do not affect the localization of Set1 to chromatin for the genes tested. Collectively, our results suggest a molecular requirement for several components of COMPASS for proper histone H3 trimethylation and regulation of telomere-associated gene expression, indicating multiple roles for different forms of histone methylation by COMPASS.

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