Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 13;109(46):18845-50. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213951109. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Maintenance of gene silencing by the coordinate action of the H3K9 methyltransferase G9a/KMT1C and the H3K4 demethylase Jarid1a/KDM5A.

Author information

The Sprott Center for Stem Cell Research, Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6.


Chromatin remodeling is essential for controlling the expression of genes during development. The histone-modifying enzyme G9a/KMT1C can act both as a coactivator and a corepressor of transcription. Here, we show that the dual function of G9a as a coactivator vs. a corepressor entails its association within two distinct protein complexes, one containing the coactivator Mediator and one containing the corepressor Jarid1a/KDM5A. Functionally, G9a is important in stabilizing the Mediator complex for gene activation, whereas its repressive function entails a coordinate action with the histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) demethylase Jarid1a for the maintenance of gene repression. The essential nature of cross-talk between the histone methyltransferase G9a and the demethylase Jarid1a is demonstrated on the embryonic E(y)-globin gene, where the concurrent introduction of repressive histone marks (dimethylated H3K9 and dimethylated H3K27) and removal of activating histone mark (trimethylated H3K4) is required for maintenance of gene silencing. Taken together with our previous demonstration of cross-talk between UTX and MLL2 to mediate activation of the adult β(maj)-globin gene, these data suggest a model where "active" and "repressive" cross-talk between histone-modifying enzymes coexist on the same multigene locus and play a crucial role in the precise control of developmentally regulated gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center