Subunit contributions to histone methyltransferase activities of fly and worm polycomb group complexes

Carrie S Ketel, Erica F Andersen, Marcus L Vargas, Jinkyo Suh, Susan Strome, Jeffrey A Simon
Molecular and Cellular Biology 2005, 25 (16): 6857-68
The ESC-E(Z) complex of Drosophila melanogaster Polycomb group (PcG) repressors is a histone H3 methyltransferase (HMTase). This complex silences fly Hox genes, and related HMTases control germ line development in worms, flowering in plants, and X inactivation in mammals. The fly complex contains a catalytic SET domain subunit, E(Z), plus three noncatalytic subunits, SU(Z)12, ESC, and NURF-55. The four-subunit complex is >1,000-fold more active than E(Z) alone. Here we show that ESC and SU(Z)12 play key roles in potentiating E(Z) HMTase activity. We also show that loss of ESC disrupts global methylation of histone H3-lysine 27 in fly embryos. Subunit mutations identify domains required for catalytic activity and/or binding to specific partners. We describe missense mutations in surface loops of ESC, in the CXC domain of E(Z), and in the conserved VEFS domain of SU(Z)12, which each disrupt HMTase activity but preserve complex assembly. Thus, the E(Z) SET domain requires multiple partner inputs to produce active HMTase. We also find that a recombinant worm complex containing the E(Z) homolog, MES-2, has robust HMTase activity, which depends upon both MES-6, an ESC homolog, and MES-3, a pioneer protein. Thus, although the fly and mammalian PcG complexes absolutely require SU(Z)12, the worm complex generates HMTase activity from a distinct partner set.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"