KMT1 family methyltransferases regulate heterochromatin-nuclear periphery tethering via histone and non-histone protein methylation

EMBO Rep. 2019 May;20(5):e43260. doi: 10.15252/embr.201643260. Epub 2019 Mar 11.


Euchromatic histone methyltransferases (EHMTs), members of the KMT1 family, methylate histone and non-histone proteins. Here, we uncover a novel role for EHMTs in regulating heterochromatin anchorage to the nuclear periphery (NP) via non-histone methylation. We show that EHMTs methylate and stabilize LaminB1 (LMNB1), which associates with the H3K9me2-marked peripheral heterochromatin. Loss of LMNB1 methylation or EHMTs abrogates heterochromatin anchorage at the NP We further demonstrate that the loss of EHMTs induces many hallmarks of aging including global reduction of H3K27methyl marks and altered nuclear morphology. Consistent with this, we observe a gradual depletion of EHMTs, which correlates with loss of methylated LMNB1 and peripheral heterochromatin in aging human fibroblasts. Restoration of EHMT expression reverts peripheral heterochromatin defects in aged cells. Collectively, our work elucidates a new mechanism by which EHMTs regulate heterochromatin domain organization and reveals their impact on fundamental changes associated with the intrinsic aging process.

Keywords: LaminB1; aging; euchromatic histone methyltransferases; heterochromatin; nuclear periphery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Heterochromatin / metabolism*
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lamin Type B / metabolism*
  • Methylation


  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones
  • Lamin Type B
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase