Lab sheds light on molecular machinery required for translation of histone crosstalk

Dec 15, 2007

The Stowers Institute’s Shilatifard Lab has published findings that shed light on the molecular machinery required for the translation of histone crosstalk, or communication between histones.

Published in today’s issue of Cell, “Histone Crosstalk between H2B Monoubiquitination and H3 Methylation Mediated COMPASS” examines the yeast homologue of the mammalian MLL complex, a histone methylase involved in the development of childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Histones are important components of chromatin, the packing material surrounding chromosomal DNA. Also, histones play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. Histone H3 can be modified by methylation and this modification is an essential part of gene expression.

Several years ago, the Shilatifard Lab identified the first histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferase, known as COMPASS, in yeast. Soon thereafter, it was established that the MLL protein in humans also existed in a COMPASS-like complex capable of methylating H3K4. In 2002, the Shilatifard Lab reported the existence of the first histone crosstalk between histone H2B monoubiquitination for the regulation of histone methylation by COMPASS.

“We now know that this mode of histone crosstalk is highly conserved from yeast to humans, but until now, its molecular mechanism of action was poorly understood. Jung-Shin Lee, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in my laboratory, was able to demonstrate the molecular machinery required for the translation of this histone crosstalk,” said Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D., Investigator and senior author on the paper.

This work demonstrated that the Cps35 subunit of COMPASS is required to translate the crosstalk between H2B monoubiquitination and H3 methylation by COMPASS.

“Given the importance of histone methylation by the MLL complex and leukemia pathogenesis, defining the molecular machinery involved in this process could be highly useful,” said Dr. Shilatifard.

Source: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Explore further: US scientists make embryonic stem cells from adult skin

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Work with fungus uncovering keys to DNA methylation

Dec 15, 2008

Researchers in a University of Oregon lab have shed more light on the mechanism that regulates DNA methylation, a fundamental biological process in which a methyl group is attached to DNA, the genetic material in cells of ...

Recommended for you

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

New pain relief targets discovered

Apr 17, 2014

Scientists have identified new pain relief targets that could be used to provide relief from chemotherapy-induced pain. BBSRC-funded researchers at King's College London made the discovery when researching ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...