The euchromatin histone methyltransferase 2 (also known as G9a) methylates histone H3K9 to repress gene expression, but it also acts as a coactivator for some nuclear receptors. The molecular mechanisms underlying this activation remain elusive. Here we show that G9a functions as a coactivator of the endogenous oestrogen receptor α (ERα) in breast cancer cells in a histone methylation-independent manner. G9a dimethylates ERα at K235 both in vitro and in cells. Dimethylation of ERαK235 is recognized by the Tudor domain of PHF20, which recruits the MOF histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complex to ERα target gene promoters to deposit histone H4K16 acetylation promoting active transcription. Together, our data suggest the molecular mechanism by which G9a functions as an ERα coactivator. Along with the PHF20/MOF complex, G9a links the crosstalk between ERα methylation and histone acetylation that governs the epigenetic regulation of hormonal gene expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)