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Plant Physiol. 2009 Feb;149(2):1196-204. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.131508. Epub 2008 Dec 17.

Histone H2B deubiquitination is required for transcriptional activation of FLOWERING LOCUS C and for proper control of flowering in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


The spectrum of histone modifications at a given locus is a critical determinant for the correct output of gene expression. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), many studies have examined the relationship between histone methylation and gene expression, but few studies exist on the relationship between other covalent histone modifications and gene expression. In this work, we describe the role of histone H2B deubiquitination in the activation of gene expression and the consequence of a perturbation of histone H2B deubiquitination in the timing of the floral transition in Arabidopsis. A mutation in a H2B deubiquitinase, UBIQUITIN-SPECIFIC PROTEASE26 (UBP26), results in an early-flowering phenotype. In the ubp26 mutant, mRNA levels of the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and other related family members is decreased. Furthermore, this mutant accumulates H2B monoubiquitination, and has decreased levels of H3K36 trimethylation and increased levels of H3K27 trimethylation at the FLC locus. Thus, UBP26 is required for transcriptional activation of FLC through H2B deubiquitination and is consistent with a model in which deubiquitination is necessary for the accumulation of H3K36 trimethylation and the proper level of transcriptional activation.

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