Methylation of histone H3 Lys 4 in coding regions of active genes

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jun 25;99(13):8695-700. doi: 10.1073/pnas.082249499. Epub 2002 Jun 11.


Posttranslational modifications of histone tails regulate chromatin structure and transcription. Here we present global analyses of histone acetylation and histone H3 Lys 4 methylation patterns in yeast. We observe a significant correlation between acetylation of histones H3 and H4 in promoter regions and transcriptional activity. In contrast, we find that dimethylation of histone H3 Lys 4 in coding regions correlates with transcriptional activity. The histone methyltransferase Set1 is required to maintain expression of these active, promoter-acetylated, and coding region-methylated genes. Global comparisons reveal that genomic regions deacetylated by the yeast enzymes Rpd3 and Hda1 overlap extensively with Lys 4 hypo- but not hypermethylated regions. In the context of recent studies showing that Lys 4 methylation precludes histone deacetylase recruitment, we conclude that Set1 facilitates transcription, in part, by protecting active coding regions from deacetylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA Primers
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Lysine / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA Primers
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones
  • Lysine