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Waldmann T.,MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Waldmann T.,University of Konstanz | Izzo A.,MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Kamieniarz K.,MPI for Immunobiology and Epigenetics | And 8 more authors.
Epigenetics and Chromatin | Year: 2011

Abstract. Background: Covalent histone modifications are central to all DNA-dependent processes. Modifications of histones H3 and H4 are becoming well characterised, but knowledge of how H2A modifications regulate chromatin dynamics and gene expression is still very limited. Results: To understand the function of H2A modifications, we performed a systematic analysis of the histone H2A methylation status. We identified and functionally characterised two new methylation sites in H2A: R11 (H2AR11) and R29 (H2AR29). Using an unbiased biochemical approach in combination with candidate assays we showed that protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) 1 and PRMT6 are unique in their ability to catalyse these modifications. Importantly we found that H2AR29me2 is specifically enriched at genes repressed by PRMT6, implicating H2AR29me2 in transcriptional repression. Conclusions: Our data establishes R11 and R29 as new arginine methylation sites in H2A. We identified the specific modifying enzymes involved, and uncovered a novel functional role of H2AR29me2 in gene silencing in vivo. Thus this work reveals novel insights into the function of H2A methylation and in the mechanisms of PRMT6-mediated transcriptional repression. © 2011 Waldmann et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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