Abo1 is required for the H3K9me2 to H3K9me3 transition in heterochromatin

Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 8;10(1):6055. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-63209-y.


Heterochromatin regulation is critical for genomic stability. Different H3K9 methylation states have been discovered, with distinct roles in heterochromatin formation and silencing. However, how the transition from H3K9me2 to H3K9me3 is controlled is still unclear. Here, we investigate the role of the conserved bromodomain AAA-ATPase, Abo1, involved in maintaining global nucleosome organisation in fission yeast. We identified several key factors involved in heterochromatin silencing that interact genetically with Abo1: histone deacetylase Clr3, H3K9 methyltransferase Clr4, and HP1 homolog Swi6. Cells lacking Abo1 cultivated at 30 °C exhibit an imbalance of H3K9me2 and H3K9me3 in heterochromatin. In abo1∆ cells, the centromeric constitutive heterochromatin has increased H3K9me2 but decreased H3K9me3 levels compared to wild-type. In contrast, facultative heterochromatin regions exhibit reduced H3K9me2 and H3K9me3 levels in abo1∆. Genome-wide analysis showed that abo1∆ cells have silencing defects in both the centromeres and subtelomeres, but not in a subset of heterochromatin islands in our condition. Thus, our work uncovers a role of Abo1 in stabilising directly or indirectly Clr4 recruitment to allow the H3K9me2 to H3K9me3 transition in heterochromatin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Genomic Instability
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • RNA Interference
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Heterochromatin
  • Histones
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • clr4 protein, S pombe
  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities