Kinetics of re-establishing H3K79 methylation marks in global human chromatin

Steve M M Sweet, Mingxi Li, Paul M. Thomas, Kenneth R. Durbin, Neil L. Kelleher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We employ a stable isotope strategy wherein both histones and their methylations are labeled in synchronized human cells. This allows us to differentiate between old and new methylations on pre-existing versus newly synthesized histones. The strategy is implemented on K79 methylation in an isoform-specific manner for histones H3.1, H3.2, and H3.3. Although levels of H3.3K79 monomethylation are higher than that of H3.2/H3.1, the rate of establishing the K79 methylation is the same for all three isoforms. Surprisingly, we find that pre-existing "old" histones continue to be K79-monomethylated and -dimethylated at a rate equal to the newly synthesized histones. These observations imply that some degree of positional "scrambling" of K79 methylation occurs through the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32778-32786
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 22 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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