The Journal of biological chemistry

Properties of soluble rat brain histone lysine methyltransferase.

PMID 19459


Histone-lysine methyltransferase has been solubilized from rat brain chromatin by repeated extraction with distilled water. The enzyme was further purified by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose and gel filtration. With chromosomal-bound histones as substrates, the enzyme methylated only the lysyl residues in histones H3 and H4. The ratio of N epsilon-mono-: N epsilon-di-: N epsilon-trimethyllysine in histone H3 was 1.8:1.0:0.45 and the ratio of N epsilon-mono-: N epsilon-dimethyllysine in histone H4 was 0.7:1.0. The enzyme loses specificity with soluble histones as substrates; however, histones H3 and H4 were still the best methyl acceptors. The pH optima for the enzyme with soluble histones H3 and H4 as substrates were 8.2 to 8.7 and 7.2 to 8.0, respectively. S-Adenosyl-L-homocysteine, one of the products of the reaction, was a competitive inhibitor with respect to S-adenosyl-L-methionine.