Developmental timing in Dictyostelium is regulated by the Set1 histone methyltransferase

JR Chubb, G Bloomfield, QK Xu, M Kaller, A Ivens, J Skelton, Bryan Turner, W Nellen, G Shaulsky, RR Kay, WA Bickmore, RH Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Histone-modifying enzymes have enormous potential as regulators of the large-scale changes in gene expression occurring during differentiation. It is unclear how different combinations of historic modification coordinate regimes of transcription during development. We show that different methylation states of lysine 4 of historic H3 (H3K4) mark distinct developmental phases of the simple eukaryote, Dictyostelium. We demonstrate that the enzyme responsible for all mono, di and tri-methylation of H3K4 is the Dictyostelium homolog of the Set1 histone methyltransferase. In the absence of sell, cells display unusually rapid development,, characterized by precocious aggregation of amoebae into multicellular aggregates. Early differentiation markers are abundantly expressed in growing set1 cells, indicating the differentiation program is ectopically activated during growth. This phenotype is caused specifically by the loss of Set1 catalytic activity. Set1 mutants induce premature differentiation in wild-type cells, indicating Set1 regulates production of an extra-cellular factor required for the correct perception of growth conditions. Microarray analysis of the set1 mutants reveals genomic clustering of mis-expressed genes, suggesting a requirement for sell in the regulation of chromatin-mediated events at gene clusters. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-532
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006


  • Set1
  • clock
  • dictyostelium
  • chromatin
  • lysine 4 methylation
  • gene cluster


Dive into the research topics of 'Developmental timing in Dictyostelium is regulated by the Set1 histone methyltransferase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this