The histone methyltransferase SDG8 regulates shoot branching in Arabidopsis

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Sep 5;373(4):659-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.06.096. Epub 2008 Jul 3.


Histone lysine methylation is an evolutionally conserved modification involved in determining chromatin states associated with gene activation or repression. Here we report that the Arabidopsis SET domain group 8 (SDG8) protein is a histone H3 methyltransferase involved in regulating shoot branching. Knockout mutations of the SDG8 gene markedly reduce the global levels of histone H3 trimethylation at lysines 9 and 36 as well as dimethylation at lysine 36. The sdg8 mutants produce more shoot branches than wild-type plants. The expression of SPS/BUS (supershoot/bushy), a repressor of shoot branching, is decreased in sdg8 mutants, while UGT74E2 (UDP-glycosyltransferase 74E2), a gene associated with increased shoot branching, is up-regulated in sdg8 mutants. The altered expression of SPS/BUS and UGT74E2 correlates with changed histone H3 methylation at these loci. These results suggest that SDG8 regulates shoot branching via controlling the methylation states of its target genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Methylation
  • Mutation
  • Plant Shoots / enzymology*
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / growth & development
  • Protein Methyltransferases
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Histones
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Protein Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • UGT72E2 protein, Arabidopsis