An Arabidopsis SET domain protein required for maintenance but not establishment of DNA methylation

These results suggest that SUVH4 is involved in maintenance but not establishment of methylation at particular genomic regions

F. Malagnac


Scholarcy highlights

  • Cytosine methylation is centrally important in regulating gene expression and genome stability in mammals, plants and some fungi
  • Isolation of suvh4 mutants as suppressors of PAI2 silencing An endogenous Arabidopsis gene that is subject to cytosine methylation and silencing, PAI2, serves as a facile reporter in genetic screens for methylation mutations
  • Genomic DNA methylation is catalyzed by cytosine methyltransferase enzymes, but the factors that control the targeting and activity of these enzymes at different genomic sites are not well understood
  • We show that a SET domain histone methyltransferase protein, SUVH4, is important for maintenance of particular cytosine methylation patterns in the Arabidopsis genome
  • SUVH4 is involved mainly in maintenance of non-CG methylation at a subset of the sites controlled by the predicted cytosine methyltransferase CMT3
  • Previous in vitro studies showed that heterologously expressed CMT3 does not interact directly with K9-methylated H3 peptides, and the proposal that the Arabidopsis Heterochromatin protein 1 homolog like HP1 is a bridging factor for this interaction is not supported by our observation that an lhp1 mutation has no effect on PAI or CEN methylation
  • The WS pai1 suvh4 cmt3 double mutant strain was made by crossing pai1 suvh4R302* with a pai1 cmt3 allele previously isolated as a PAI2 silencing suppressor, and screening the progeny plants for genotype by PCRbased assays

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