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Science 293 (5532): 1150-1155

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Transitions in Distinct Histone H3 Methylation Patterns at the Heterochromatin Domain Boundaries

Ken-ichi Noma,1 C. David Allis,2 Shiv I. S. Grewal1*

Eukaryotic genomes are organized into discrete structural and functional chromatin domains. Here, we show that distinct site-specific histone H3 methylation patterns define euchromatic and heterochromatic chromosomal domains within a 47-kilobase region of the mating-type locus in fission yeast. H3 methylated at lysine 9 (H3 Lys9), and its interacting Swi6 protein, are strictly localized to a 20-kilobase silent heterochromatic interval. In contrast, H3 methylated at lysine 4 (H3 Lys4) is specific to the surrounding euchromatic regions. Two inverted repeats flanking the silent interval serve as boundary elements to mark the borders between heterochromatin and euchromatin. Deletions of these boundary elements lead to spreading of H3 Lys9 methylation and Swi6 into neighboring sequences. Furthermore, the H3 Lys9 methylation and corresponding heterochromatin-associated complexes prevent H3 Lys4 methylation in the silent domain.

1 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Post Office Box 100, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.
2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia Health Science Center, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: grewal{at}

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Differential Subnuclear Localization and Replication Timing of Histone H3 Lysine 9 Methylation States.
R. Wu, A. V. Terry, P. B. Singh, and D. M. Gilbert (2005)
Mol. Biol. Cell 16, 2872-2881
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
MAP kinase-mediated phosphorylation of distinct pools of histone H3 at S10 or S28 via mitogen- and stress-activated kinase 1/2.
M. H. Dyson, S. Thomson, M. Inagaki, H. Goto, S. J. Arthur, K. Nightingale, F. J. Iborra, and L. C. Mahadevan (2005)
J. Cell Sci. 118, 2247-2259
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Small Interfering RNAs That Trigger Posttranscriptional Gene Silencing Are Not Required for the Histone H3 Lys9 Methylation Necessary for Transgenic Tandem Repeat Stabilization in Neurospora crassa.
A. Chicas, E. C. Forrest, S. Sepich, C. Cogoni, and G. Macino (2005)
Mol. Cell. Biol. 25, 3793-3801
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Inducible Covalent Posttranslational Modification of Histone H3.
A. M. Bode and Z. Dong (2005)
Sci. STKE 2005, re4
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Histone modifying and chromatin remodelling enzymes in cancer and dysplastic syndromes.
R. J. Gibbons (2005)
Hum. Mol. Genet. 14, R85-R92
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Remote control of gene transcription.
A. G. West and P. Fraser (2005)
Hum. Mol. Genet. 14, R101-R111
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Tal1/SCL Binding to Pericentromeric DNA Represses Transcription.
J. Wen, S. Huang, S. D. Pack, X. Yu, S. J. Brandt, and C. T. Noguchi (2005)
J. Biol. Chem. 280, 12956-12966
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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