Title

Differential effects of two catalytic mutations on full-length PRDM9 and its isolated PR/SET domain reveal a case of pseudomodularity.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2021

Publication Title

Genetics

Keywords

JMG

JAX Source

Genetics 2021 Dec; 219(4):iyab172

Volume

219

Issue

4

ISSN

1943-2631

PMID

34747456

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1093/genetics/iyab172

Grant

GM078452, GM125736, GM99640, HD007065, CA034196

Abstract

PRDM9 is a DNA-binding histone methyltransferase that designates and activates recombination hotspots in mammals by locally trimethylating lysines 4 and 36 of histone H3. In mice, we recently reported two independently produced point mutations at the same residue, Glu360Pro (Prdm9EP) and Glu360Lys (Prdm9EK), which severely reduce its H3K4 and H3K36 methyltransferase activities in vivo. Prdm9EP is slightly less hypomorphic than Prdm9EK, but both mutations reduce both the number and amplitude of PRDM9-dependent H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 peaks in spermatocytes. While both mutations cause infertility with complete meiotic arrest in males, Prdm9EP, but not Prdm9EK, is compatible with some female fertility. When we tested the effects of these mutations in vitro, both Prdm9EP and Prdm9EK abolished H3K4 and H3K36 methyltransferase activity in full-length PRDM9. However, in the isolated PRDM9 PR/SET domain, these mutations selectively compromised H3K36 methyltransferase activity, while leaving H3K4 methyltransferase activity intact. The difference in these effects on the PR/SET domain vs the full-length protein shows that PRDM9 is not an intrinsically modular enzyme; its catalytic domain is influenced by its tertiary structure and possibly by its interactions with DNA and other proteins in vivo. These two informative mutations illuminate the enzymatic chemistry of PRDM9, and potentially of PR/SET domains in general, reveal the minimal threshold of PRDM9-dependent catalytic activity for female fertility, and potentially have some practical utility for genetic mapping and genomics.

Comments

We would like to thank Mary Ann Handel for critical reading, the
Genome Technologies and Genetic Engineering Technology cores
at The Jackson Laboratory for their invaluable expertise and assistance with this project.

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