CDYL bridges REST and histone methyltransferases for gene repression and suppression of cellular transformation

Mol Cell. 2008 Dec 5;32(5):718-26. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.10.025.


The neuronal gene repressor REST/NRSF recruits corepressors, including CoREST, to modify histones and repress transcription. REST also functions as a tumor suppressor, but the mechanism remains unclear. We identified chromodomain on Y-like (CDYL) as a REST corepressor that physically bridges REST and the histone methylase G9a to repress transcription. Importantly, RNAi knockdown of REST, CDYL, and G9a, but not CoREST, induced oncogenic transformation of immortalized primary human cells and derepression of the proto-oncogene TrkC. Significantly, transgenic expression of TrkC also induced transformation. This implicates CDYL-G9a, but not CoREST, in REST suppression of transformation, possibly by oncogene repression. CDYL knockdown also augments transformation in a cell culture model of cervical cancer, where loss of heterozygosity of the CDYL locus occurs. These findings demonstrate molecular strategies by which REST carries out distinct biological functions via different corepressors and provide critical insights into the role of histone-modifying complexes in regulating cellular transformation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Down-Regulation / genetics*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / metabolism
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Methyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptor, trkC / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • E6 protein, Human papillomavirus type 16
  • Histones
  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • RCOR1 protein, human
  • RE1-silencing transcription factor
  • Repressor Proteins
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16
  • Histone Methyltransferases
  • Protein Methyltransferases
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Receptor, trkC
  • CDYL protein, human
  • Hydro-Lyases
  • Lysine