Site-specific human histone H3 methylation stability: Fast K4me3 turnover

Yupeng Zheng, Jeremiah D. Tipton, Paul M. Thomas, Neil L. Kelleher, Steve M.M. Sweet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We employ stable-isotope labeling and quantitative mass spectrometry to track histone methylation stability. We show that H3 trimethyl K9 and K27 are slow to be established on new histones and slow to disappear from old histones, with half-lives of multiple cell divisions. By contrast, the transcription-associated marks K4me3 and K36me3 turn over far more rapidly, with half-lives of 6.8 h and 57 h, respectively. Inhibition of demethylases increases K9 and K36 methylation, with K9 showing the largest and most robust increase. We interpret different turnover rates in light of genome-wide localization data and transcription-dependent nucleosome rearrangements proximal to the transcription start site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2190-2199
Number of pages10
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Cell biology
  • Chromatin
  • Demethylation
  • Heterochromatin
  • Methylation turnover
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Site-specific human histone H3 methylation stability: Fast K4me3 turnover'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this