Chromatin modifications by methylation and ubiquitination: implications in the regulation of gene expression

Annu Rev Biochem. 2006;75:243-69. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.75.103004.142422.

Abstract

It is more evident now than ever that nucleosomes can transmit epigenetic information from one cell generation to the next. It has been demonstrated during the past decade that the posttranslational modifications of histone proteins within the chromosome impact chromatin structure, gene transcription, and epigenetic information. Multiple modifications decorate each histone tail within the nucleosome, including some amino acids that can be modified in several different ways. Covalent modifications of histone tails known thus far include acetylation, phosphorylation, sumoylation, ubiquitination, and methylation. A large body of experimental evidence compiled during the past several years has demonstrated the impact of histone acetylation on transcriptional control. Although histone modification by methylation and ubiquitination was discovered long ago, it was only recently that functional roles for these modifications in transcriptional regulation began to surface. Highlighted in this review are the recent biochemical, molecular, cellular, and physiological functions of histone methylation and ubiquitination involved in the regulation of gene expression as determined by a combination of enzymological, structural, and genetic methodologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein / metabolism
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • RNA Interference
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism*
  • X Chromosome Inactivation

Substances

  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Ubiquitin
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Methyltransferases
  • Set2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Lysine