An optogenetic switch for the Set2 methyltransferase provides evidence for transcription-dependent and -independent dynamics of H3K36 methylation.
Genome Res 2020 Nov; 30:1605-1617
Histone H3 lysine 36 methylation (H3K36me) is a conserved histone modification associated with transcription and DNA repair. Although the effects of H3K36 methylation have been studied, the genome-wide dynamics of H3K36me deposition and removal are not known. We established rapid and reversible optogenetic control for Set2, the sole H3K36 methyltransferase in yeast, by fusing the enzyme with the light-activated nuclear shuttle (LANS) domain. Light activation resulted in efficient Set2-LANS nuclear localization followed by H3K36me3 deposition in vivo, with total H3K36me3 levels correlating with RNA abundance. Although genes showed disparate levels of H3K36 methylation, relative rates of H3K36me3 accumulation were largely linear and consistent across genes, suggesting that H3K36me3 deposition occurs in a directed fashion on all transcribed genes regardless of their overall transcription frequency. Removal of H3K36me3 was highly dependent on the demethylase Rph1. However, the per-gene rate of H3K36me3 loss weakly correlated with RNA abundance and followed exponential decay, suggesting H3K36 demethylases act in a global, stochastic manner. Altogether, these data provide a detailed temporal view of H3K36 methylation and demethylation that suggests transcription-dependent and -independent mechanisms for H3K36me deposition and removal, respectively.
Lerner, Andrew M; Hepperla, Austin J; Keele, Gregory R; Meriesh, Hashem A; Yumerefendi, Hayretin; Restrepo, David; Zimmerman, Seth; Bear, James E; Kuhlman, Brian; Davis, Ian J; and Strahl, Brian D, "An optogenetic switch for the Set2 methyltransferase provides evidence for transcription-dependent and -independent dynamics of H3K36 methylation." (2020). Faculty Research 2020. 305.