Histone demethylation is crucial for proper chromatin structure and to ensure normal development, and requires the large family of Jumonji C (JmjC)-containing demethylases; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the substrate specificity of these JmjC-containing demethylases remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the substrate specificity of the Arabidopsis histone demethylase JMJ16 is broadened from Lys 4 of histone H3 (H3K4) alone in somatic cells to both H3K4 and H3K9 when it binds to the meiocyte-specific histone reader MMD1. Consistent with this, the JMJ16 catalytic domain exhibits both H3K4 and H3K9 demethylation activities. Moreover, the JMJ16 C-terminal FYR domain interacts with the JMJ16 catalytic domain and probably restricts its substrate specificity. By contrast, MMD1 can compete with the N-terminal catalytic domain of JMJ16 for binding to the FYR-C domain, thereby expanding the substrate specificity of JMJ16 by preventing the FYR domain from binding to the catalytic domain. We propose that MMD1 and JMJ16 together in male meiocytes promote gene expression in an H3K9me3-dependent manner and thereby contribute to meiotic chromosome condensation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science