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Freiburg, Germany

Peckl-Schmid D.,University of Salzburg | Wolkerstorfer S.,University of Salzburg | Konigsberger S.,University of Salzburg | Achatz-Straussberger G.,University of Salzburg | And 11 more authors.
European Journal of Immunology | Year: 2010

HAX1 was originally described as HS1-associated protein with a suggested function in receptor-mediated apoptotic and proliferative responses of lymphoid cells. Recent publications refer to a complex and multifunctional role of this protein. To investigate the in vivo function of HAX1 (HS1-associated protein X1) in B cells, we generated a Hax1-deficient mouse strain. Targeted deletion of Hax1 resulted in premature death around the age of 12 wk accompanied by a severe reduction of lymphocytes in spleen, thymus and bone marrow. In the bone marrow, all B-cell populations were lost comparably. In the spleen, B220 + cells were reduced by almost 70%. However, as investigated by adoptive transfer experiments, this impairment is not exclusively B-cell intrinsic and we hypothesize that a HAX1-deficient environment cannot sufficiently provide the essential factors for proper lymphocyte development, trafficking and survival. Hax1 -/- B cells show a significantly reduced expression of CXCR4, which might have an influence on the observed defects in B-cell development. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Plazas-Mayorca M.D.,Princeton University | Bloom J.S.,Princeton University | Zeissler U.,MPI for Immunobiology | Leroy G.,Princeton University | And 6 more authors.
Molecular BioSystems | Year: 2010

Histones are highly conserved proteins that organize cellular DNA. These proteins, especially their N-terminal domains, are adorned with many post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as lysine methylation, which are associated with active or repressed transcriptional states. The lysine methyltransferase G9a and its interaction partner Glp1 can mono- or dimethylate histone H3 on lysine (H3K9me1 or me2); possible cross-talk between these modifications and other PTMs on the same or other histone molecules is currently uncharacterized. In this study, we comprehensively analyze the effects of G9a/Glp1 knockdown on the most abundant histone modifications through both Bottom Up and Middle Down mass spectrometry-based proteomics. In addition to the expected decrease in H3K9me1/me2 we find that other degrees of methylation on K9 are affected by the reduction of G9a/Glp1 activity, particularly when K9 methylation occurs in combination with K14 acetylation. In line with this, an increase in K14 acetylation upon G9a knockdown was observed across all H3 variants (H3.1, H3.2 and H3.3), hinting at the potential existence of a binary switch between K9 methylation and K14 acetylation. Interestingly, we also detect changes in the abundance of other modifications (such as H3K79me2) in response to lowered levels of G9a/Glp1 suggesting histone PTM cross-talk amongst the H3 variants. In contrast, we find that G9a/Glp1 knockdown produces little effect on the levels of histone H4 PTMs, indicating low to no trans-histone PTM crosstalk. Lastly, we determined gene expression profiles of control and G9a/Glp1 knockdown cells, and we find that the G9a/Glp1 knockdown influences several genes, including DNA binding proteins and key factors in chromatin. Our results provide new insights into the intra- and inter- histone cross-regulation of histone K9 methylation and its potential downstream gene targets. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Weiss T.,MPI for Immunobiology | Hergeth S.,MPI for Immunobiology | Zeissler U.,MPI for Immunobiology | Izzo A.,MPI for Immunobiology | And 6 more authors.
Epigenetics and Chromatin | Year: 2010

Background. The linker histone H1 has a key role in establishing and maintaining higher order chromatin structure and in regulating gene expression. Mammals express up to 11 different H1 variants, with H1.2 and H1.4 being the predominant ones in most somatic cells. Like core histones, H1 has high levels of covalent modifications; however, the full set of modifications and their biological role are largely unknown. Results. In this study, we used a candidate screen to identify enzymes that methylate H1 and to map their corresponding methylation sites. We found that the histone lysine methyltransferases G9a/KMT1C and Glp1/KMT1D methylate H1.2 in vitro and in vivo, and we mapped this novel site to lysine 187 (H1.2K187) in the C-terminus of H1. This H1.2K187 methylation is variant-specific. The main target for methylation by G9a in H1.2, H1.3, H1.5 and H1.0 is in the C-terminus, whereas H1.4 is preferentially methylated at K26 (H1.4K26me) in the N-terminus. We found that the readout of these marks is different; H1.4K26me can recruit HP1, but H1.2K187me cannot. Likewise, JMJD2D/KDM4 only reverses H1.4K26 methylation, clearly distinguishing these two methylation sites. Further, in contrast to C-terminal H1 phosphorylation, H1.2K187 methylation level is steady throughout the cell cycle. Conclusions. We have characterised a novel methylation site in the C-terminus of H1 that is the target of G9a/Glp1 both in vitro and in vivo. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of variant-specific histone methylation by the same methyltransferases, but with differing downstream readers, thereby supporting the hypothesis of H1 variants having specific functions. © 2010 Weiss et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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