A complex interplay between multiple chromatin modifiers is critical for cells to regulate chromatin structure and accessibility during essential DNA-templated processes such as transcription. However, the coordinated activities of these chromatin modifiers in the regulation of gene expression are not fully understood. We previously determined that the budding yeast histone H4 methyltransferase Set5 functions together with Set1, the H3K4 methyltransferase, in specific cellular contexts. Here, we sought to understand the relationship between these evolutionarily conserved enzymes in the regulation of gene expression. We generated a comprehensive genetic interaction map of the functionally uncharacterized Set5 methyltransferase and expanded the existing genetic interactome of the global chromatin modifier Set1, revealing functional overlap of the two enzymes in chromatin-related networks, such as transcription. Furthermore, gene expression profiling via RNA-Seq revealed an unexpected synergistic role of Set1 and Set5 in repressing transcription of Ty transposable elements and genes located in subtelomeric regions. This study uncovers novel pathways in which the methyltransferase Set5 participates and, more importantly, reveals a partnership between Set1 and Set5 in transcriptional repression near repetitive DNA elements in budding yeast. Together, our results define a new functional relationship between histone H3 and H4 methyltransferases, whose combined activity may be implicated in preserving genomic integrity.
Keywords: Set1; Set5; genetic interaction; histone methylation; retrotransposons; telomeres; transcription.