Research ArticleBIOCHEMISTRY

CATACOMB: An endogenous inducible gene that antagonizes H3K27 methylation activity of Polycomb repressive complex 2 via an H3K27M-like mechanism

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Science Advances  03 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaax2887
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax2887


Using biochemical characterization of fusion proteins associated with endometrial stromal sarcoma, we identified JAZF1 as a new subunit of the NuA4 acetyltransferase complex and CXORF67 as a subunit of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). Since CXORF67’s interaction with PRC2 leads to decreased PRC2-dependent H3K27me2/3 deposition, we propose a new name for this gene: CATACOMB (catalytic antagonist of Polycomb; official gene name: EZHIP). We map CATACOMB’s inhibitory function to a short highly conserved region and identify a single methionine residue essential for diminution of H3K27me2/3 levels. Remarkably, the amino acid sequence surrounding this critical methionine resembles the oncogenic histone H3 Lys27-to-methionine (H3K27M) mutation found in high-grade pediatric gliomas. As CATACOMB expression is regulated through DNA methylation/demethylation, we propose CATACOMB as the potential interlocutor between DNA methylation and PRC2 activity. We raise the possibility that similar regulatory mechanisms could exist for other methyltransferase complexes such as Trithorax/COMPASS.

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