Histone H2B lysine 120 mono-ubiquitination (H2Bub1) catalyzed by Rnf20 has been implicated in normal differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) and adult stem cells. However, it remains unknown how Rnf20 is recruited to its specific target chromosomal loci for the establishment of H2Bub1. Here, we reveal that Fbxl19, a CxxC domain-containing protein, promotes H2Bub1 at the promoters of CpG island-containing genes by interacting with Rnf20. We show that up-regulation of Fbxl19 increases the level of global H2Bub1 in mouse ES cells, while down-regulation of Fbxl19 reduces the level of H2Bub1. Our genome-wide target mapping unveils the preferential occupancy of Fbxl19 on CpG island-containing promoters, and we further discover that chromosomal binding of Fbxl19 is required for H2Bub1 of its targets. Moreover, we reveal that Fbxl19 is critical for proper differentiation of ES cells in collaboration with Rnf20. Altogether, our results demonstrate that Fbxl19 recruitment to CpG islands is required for Rnf20-mediated H2B mono-ubiquitination.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.