Histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methylation in development and differentiation

Joel C. Eissenberg*, Ali Shilatifard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Covalent modification of histones on chromatin is a dynamic mechanism by which various nuclear processes are regulated. Methylation of histone H3 on lysine 4 (H3K4) implemented by the macromolecular complex COMPASS and its related complexes is associated with transcriptionally active regions of chromatin. Enzymes that catalyze H3K4 methylation were initially characterized genetically as regulators of Hox loci, long before their catalytic functions were recognized. Since their discovery, genetic and biochemical studies of H3K4 methylases and demethylases have provided important mechanistic insight into the role of H3K4 methylation in HOX gene regulation during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-249
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2010


  • Compass complex
  • HOX genes
  • Histone methylation
  • MLL
  • SET domain
  • Trithorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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