Navigation Links
Stowers Institute's Workman Lab discovers novel histone demethylase protein complex

The Stowers Institute's Workman Lab has discovered a novel histone demethylase protein complex characterized in work published today in Molecular Cell.

The Histone H3 protein is an important component of chromatin, the packing material wrapping up chromosomal DNA and preventing unwanted transcription of the message encoded in the DNA. Histone H3 can be altered by adding (methylating) or removing (demethylating) methyl groups from the histone protein. When genes are transcribed, parts of chromosomes are opened, making them susceptible to inappropriate use. Cells mark transcribed regions of chromosomes with a "landmark," called H3 lysine 36 methylation (H3K36), to direct appropriate use.

Working in fruit flies, the Workman Lab investigated how cells direct dKDM4A, a novel histone demethylase protein, to specific locations, which is important because dKDM4A is responsible for removal of landmark histone modifications during transcription elongation.

"We discovered that dKDM4A can remove specific forms of H3K36, reversing methylation and helping to regulate transcription elongation," said Chia-Hui Lin, Predoctoral Researcher and lead author on the paper. "Surprisingly, we found that dKDM4a associates with Heterochromatin Protein 1a (HP1a), a classic transcriptional silencing factor. The binding of HP1a stimulates the histone demethylation activity of dKDM4A. In fruit fly larvae without HP1a, we found a significantly increased level of H3K36."

"It is known that HP1a acts as a 'scaffold' component during transcription silencing, but recent findings of HP1a's involvement in actively transcribed regions had confounded the chromatin field," said Jerry Workman, Ph.D., Investigator and senior author on the paper. "This work suggests a possible role for HP1a in transcription activation by facilitating histone demethylation by dKDM4A to remove an important histone mark during elongation."

The discovery applies to human health especially as it relates to Huntington disease. The human enzyme that adds methylation marks on histone H3K36 interacts with the Huntington protein, which causes Huntington's disease. Additionally, the human version of dKDM4A functions as an oncogene, which has the potential to cause a normal cell to become cancerous. Overexpression of such a gene product can lead to esophageal squamous carcinoma and prostate cancer. The Workman Lab's efforts to learn more about the dynamic regulation of H3K36 methylation may lead to the discovery of potential mechanisms to cure or alleviate these diseases.


Contact: Marie Jennings
Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Related biology news :

1. Stowers Institutes Shilatifard Lab identifies new role for factor critical to transcription
2. Stowers Institute researchers identify gene linked to vertebral defects in patient populations
3. Stowers Proteomics Center devises method for assigning probabilities to human protein interactions
4. Stowers Institutes Hawley Lab identifies factors responsible for restart of meiotic cycle
5. Stowers Institutes Xie Lab demonstrates dual intrinsic and extrinsic control of stem cell aging
6. New study spotlights National Institutes of Health grant outcomes for clinical research
7. National Institutes of Health award Williams professor $217,710 research grant
8. Workman Lab characterizes novel regulator of chromosome function
9. Texas A&M anthropologist discovers long-lost primate in Indonesia
10. International team discovers gene associated with epilepsy
11. UCR graduate student discovers, names bacterium linked to psyllid yellows
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/5/2015)... ) releases ... (NASDAQ: NXTD ), a biometric authentication company focused ... ) releases the following market and ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... ) releases the following market and ...
(Date:10/1/2015)... Oct. 1, 2015  Biometrics includes diverse set ... body characteristics, such as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial ... of biometrics technology has been constantly increasing in ... five years. In addition to the most prominent ... recognition, other means of biometric authentication are rapidly ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... , Sept. 30, 2015  The U.S. Court of ... another key ruling in favor of Crossmatch ™, ... fingerprint scanner company Suprema and its U.S. partner Mentalix ... a trade provision that declares it unlawful to engage ... infringing two of Crossmatch,s patents, the 5,900,993 patent and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015  MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), ... and patent-protected processes to develop and market advanced products ... Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and the Dental sectors of healthcare, ... filed against the Company has been dismissed by the ... and CEO, stated, "As we suspected, this case was ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  Rebiotix Inc. ... (FDA) has designated its lead Microbiota Restoration Therapy ... treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile (C ... infection that causes 29,000 deaths in the U.S. ... biotechnology company that was founded to revolutionize the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ANNAPOLIS, Maryland , 12 de octubre de 2015 ... O. Matsui (D-CA) llegó a un récord en el ... tercera edición anual de la International Plasma Awareness Week ... octubre. La IPAW está patrocinada por la Plasma ... estando diseñada para: , Aumentar la ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015  Patara Pharma, a clinical-stage biotechnology company ... and conditions, today announced the closing of a ... with the close of its sale of preferred ... Security Agreement with Silicon Valley Bank whereby the ... will use the funds from the financing to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: