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Apr 2013 Epigenetics

Spp1 at the crossroads of H3K4me3 regulation and meiotic recombination.


Acquaviva L, Drogat J, Dehé PM, Géli V


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, all H3K4 methylation is performed by a single Set1 Complex (Set1C) that is composed of the catalytic (Set1) and seven other subunits (Swd1, Swd2, Swd3, Bre2, Sdc1, Spp1 and Shg1). It has been known for quite some time that trimethylated H3K4 (H3K4me3) is enriched in the vicinity of meiotic double-strand breaks (DSBs), but the link between H3K4me3 and the meiotic nuclease Spo11 was uncovered only recently. The PHD-containing subunit Spp1, by interacting with H3K4me3 and Mer2, was shown to promote the recruitment of potential meiotic DSB sites to the chromosomal axis allowing their subsequent cleavage by Spo11. Therefore, Spp1 emerged as a key regulator of the H3K4 trimethylation catalyzed by Set1C and of the formation of meiotic DSBs. These findings illustrate the remarkable multifunctionality of Spp1, which not only regulates the catalytic activity of the enzyme (Set1), but also interacts with the deposited mark, and mediates its biological effect (meiotic DSB formation) independently of the complex. As it was previously described for Swd2, and now for Spp1, we anticipate that other Set1C subunits, in addition to regulating H3K4 methylation, may participate in diverse biological functions inside or outside of the complex.

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