The lysine demethylase KDM4A controls the cell-cycle expression of replicative canonical histone genes

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Chromatin modulation provides a key checkpoint for controlling cell cycle regulated gene networks. The replicative canonical histone genes are one such gene family under tight regulation during cell division. These genes are most highly expressed during S phase when histones are needed to chromatinize the new DNA template. While this fact has been known for a while, limited knowledge exists about the specific chromatin regulators controlling their temporal expression during cell cycle. Since histones and their associated mutations are emerging as major players in diseases such as cancer, identifying the chromatin factors modulating their expression is critical. The histone lysine tri-demethylase KDM4A is regulated over cell cycle and plays a direct role in DNA replication timing, site-specific rereplication, and DNA amplifications during S phase. Here, we establish an unappreciated role for the catalytically active KDM4A in directly regulating canonical replicative histone gene networks during cell cycle. Of interest, we further demonstrate that KDM4A interacts with proteins controlling histone expression and RNA processing (i.e., hnRNPUL1 and FUS/TLS). Together, this study provides a new function for KDM4A in modulating canonical histone gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194624
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • ATAC
  • Cell cycle
  • Demethylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histones
  • KDM4A
  • Transcription
  • hnRNPUL1


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