Molecular and functional mapping of EED motifs required for PRC2-dependent histone methylation

Nathan D Montgomery, Della Yee, Stephanie A Montgomery, Terry Magnuson
Journal of Molecular Biology 2007 December 14, 374 (5): 1145-57
Polycomb group proteins represent a conserved family of developmental regulators that mediate heritable transcriptional silencing by modifying chromatin states. One Polycomb group complex, the PRC2 complex, is composed of several proteins, including the histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 and the WD-repeat protein embryonic ectoderm development (EED). Histone H3K27 can be monomethylated (H3K27me1), dimethylated (H3K27me2), or trimethylated (H3K27me3). However, it remains unclear what regulates the number of methyl groups added to H3K27 in a particular nucleosome. In mammalian cells, EED is present as four distinct isoforms, which are believed to be produced by utilizing four distinct, in-frame translation start sites in a common Eed mRNA. A mutation that disables all four EED isoforms produces defects in H3K27 methylation [Montgomery, N.D., Yee, D., Chen, A., Kalantry, S., Chamberlain, S.J., Otte, A.P. & Magnuson, T. (2005). The murine polycomb group protein Eed is required for global histone H3 lysine-27 methylation. Curr. Biol., 15, 942-947]. To assess the roles of individual EED isoforms in H3K27 methylation, we first characterized three of the four EED isoform start sites and then demonstrated that individual isoforms are not necessary for H3K27me1, H3K27me2, or H3K27me3. Instead, we show that the core WD-40 motifs and the histone-binding region of EED alone are sufficient for the generation of all three marks, demonstrating that EED isoforms do not control the number of methyl groups added to H3K27.

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