Multimerization and H3K9me3 binding are required for CDYL1b heterochromatin association

Henriette Franz, Kerstin Mosch, Szabolcs Soeroes, Henning Urlaub, Wolfgang Fischle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Proteins containing defined recognition modules mediate readout and translation of histone modifications. These factors are thought to initiate downstream signaling events regulating chromatin structure and function. We identified CDYL1 as an interaction partner of histone H3 trimethylated on lysine 9 (H3K9me3). CDYL1 belongs to a family of chromodomain factors found in vertebrates. We show that three different splicing variants of CDYL1, a, b, and c, are differentially expressed in various tissues with CDYL1b being the most abundant variant. Although all three splicing variants share a common C-terminal enoyl-CoA hydratase-like domain, only CDYL1b contains a functional chromodomain implicated in H3K9me3 binding. A splicing event introducing an N-terminal extension right at the beginning of the chromodomain of CDYL1a inactivates its chromodomain. CDYL1c does not contain a chromodomain at all. Although CDYL1b displays binding affinity to methyl-lysine residues in different sequence context similar to chromodomains in other chromatin factors, we demonstrate that the CDYL1b chromodomain/H3K9me3 interaction is necessary but not sufficient for association of the factor with heterochromatin. Indeed, multimerization of the protein via the enoyl-CoA hydratase-like domain is essential for H3K9me3 chromatin binding in vitro and heterochromatin localization in vivo. In agreement, overexpression of CDYL1c that can multimerize, but does not interact with H3K9me3 can displace CDYL1b from heterochromatin. Our results imply that multimeric binding to H3K9me3 by CDYL1b homomeric complexes is essential for efficient chromatin targeting. We suggest that similar multivalent binding stably anchors other histone modification binding factors on their target chromatin regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35049-35059
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 11 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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