The many faces of histone H3K79 methylation

Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2016 Apr-Jun:768:46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2016.03.005. Epub 2016 Mar 31.


Dot1/DOT1L (disruptor of telomeric silencing-1) is an evolutionarily conserved histone methyltransferase that methylates lysine 79 located within the globular domain of histone H3. Dot1 was initially identified by a genetic screen as a disruptor of telomeric silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae; further, it is the only known non-SET domain containing histone methyltransferase. Methylation of H3K79 is involved in the regulation of telomeric silencing, cellular development, cell-cycle checkpoint, DNA repair, and regulation of transcription. hDot1L-mediated H3K79 methylation appears to have a crucial role in transformation as well as disease progression in leukemias involving several oncogenic fusion proteins. This review summarizes the multiple functions of Dot1/hDOT1L in a range of cellular processes.

Keywords: Chromatin; DNA repair; Histone methylation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • DNA Repair
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Silencing
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Telomere / metabolism


  • Histones