Histone-modifying enzymes are responsible for regulating transcription, recombination, DNA repair, DNA replication, chromatid cohesion, and chromosome segregation. Fungi are ideally suited for comparative chromatin biology because sequencing of numerous genomes from many clades is coupled to existing rich methodology that allows truly holistic approaches, integrating evolutionary biology with mechanistic molecular biology and ecology, promising applications in medicine or plant pathology. While genome information is rich, mechanistic studies on histone modifications are largely restricted to two yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and one filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassathree species that arguably are not representative of this diverse kingdom. Here, histone methylation serves as a paradigm to illustrate the roles chromatin modifications may play in more complex fungal life cycles. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of histone H3 methylation at two sites associated with active transcription, lysine 4 and lysine 36 (H3K4, H3K36); a site associated with the formation of constitutive heterochromatin, lysine 9 (H3K9); and a site associated with the formation of facultative heterochromatin, lysine 27 (H3K27). Special attention is paid to differences in how methylation marks interact in different taxa.
Annual Review of Microbiology – Annual Reviews
Published: Sep 8, 2017
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