The L3MBTL3 Methyl-Lysine Reader Domain Functions As a Dimer.
ABSTRACT: L3MBTL3 recognizes mono- and dimethylated lysine residues on histone tails. The recently reported X-ray cocrystal structures of the chemical probe UNC1215 and inhibitor UNC2533 bound to the methyl-lysine reading MBT domains of L3MBTL3 demonstrate a unique and flexible 2:2 dimer mode of recognition. In this study, we describe our in vitro analysis of L3MBTL3 dimerization via its MBT domains and additionally show that this dimerization occurs within a cellular context in the absence of small molecule ligands. Furthermore, mutations to the first and second MBT domains abrogated L3MBTL3 dimerization both in vitro and in cells. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that L3MBTL3 engages methylated histone tails as a dimer while carrying out its normal function and provides an explanation for the presence of repeated MBT domains within L3MBTL3.
Project description:We describe the discovery of UNC1215, a potent and selective chemical probe for the methyllysine (Kme) reading function of L3MBTL3, a member of the malignant brain tumor (MBT) family of chromatin-interacting transcriptional repressors. UNC1215 binds L3MBTL3 with a K(d) of 120 nM, competitively displacing mono- or dimethyllysine-containing peptides, and is greater than 50-fold more potent toward L3MBTL3 than other members of the MBT family while also demonstrating selectivity against more than 200 other reader domains examined. X-ray crystallography identified a unique 2:2 polyvalent mode of interaction between UNC1215 and L3MBTL3. In cells, UNC1215 is nontoxic and directly binds L3MBTL3 via the Kme-binding pocket of the MBT domains. UNC1215 increases the cellular mobility of GFP-L3MBTL3 fusion proteins, and point mutants that disrupt the Kme-binding function of GFP-L3MBTL3 phenocopy the effects of UNC1215 on localization. Finally, UNC1215 was used to reveal a new Kme-dependent interaction of L3MBTL3 with BCLAF1, a protein implicated in DNA damage repair and apoptosis.
Project description:We recently reported the discovery of UNC1215, a potent and selective chemical probe for the L3MBTL3 methyllysine reader domain. In this article, we describe the development of structure-activity relationships (SAR) of a second series of potent L3MBTL3 antagonists which evolved from the structure of the chemical probe UNC1215. These compounds are selective for L3MBTL3 against a panel of methyllysine reader proteins, particularly the related MBT family proteins, L3MBTL1 and MBTD1. A co-crystal structure of L3MBTL3 and one of the most potent compounds suggests that the L3MBTL3 dimer rotates about the dimer interface to accommodate ligand binding.
Project description:Lysine methylation is a key epigenetic mark, the dysregulation of which is linked to many diseases. Small-molecule antagonism of methyl-lysine (Kme) binding proteins that recognize such epigenetic marks can improve our understanding of these regulatory mechanisms and potentially validate Kme binding proteins as drug-discovery targets. We previously reported the discovery of 1 (UNC1215), the first potent and selective small-molecule chemical probe of a methyl-lysine reader protein, L3MBTL3, which antagonizes the mono- and dimethyl-lysine reading function of L3MBTL3. The design, synthesis, and structure-activity relationship studies that led to the discovery of 1 are described herein. These efforts established the requirements for potent L3MBTL3 binding and enabled the design of novel antagonists, such as compound 2 (UNC1679), that maintain in vitro and cellular potency with improved selectivity against other MBT-containing proteins. The antagonists described were also found to effectively interact with unlabeled endogenous L3MBTL3 in cells.
Project description:Many non-histone proteins are lysine methylated and a novel function of this modification is to trigger the proteolysis of methylated proteins. Here, we report that the methylated lysine 142 of DNMT1, a major DNA methyltransferase that preserves epigenetic inheritance of DNA methylation patterns during DNA replication, is demethylated by LSD1. A novel methyl-binding protein, L3MBTL3, binds the K142-methylated DNMT1 and recruits a novel CRL4DCAF5 ubiquitin ligase to degrade DNMT1. Both LSD1 and PHF20L1 act primarily in S phase to prevent DNMT1 degradation by L3MBTL3-CRL4DCAF5. Mouse L3MBTL3/MBT-1 deletion causes accumulation of DNMT1 protein, increased genomic DNA methylation, and late embryonic lethality. DNMT1 contains a consensus methylation motif shared by many non-histone proteins including E2F1, a key transcription factor for S phase. We show that the methylation-dependent E2F1 degradation is also controlled by L3MBTL3-CRL4DCAF5. Our studies elucidate for the first time a novel mechanism by which the stability of many methylated non-histone proteins are regulated.
Project description:SOX2 is a dose-dependent master stem cell protein that controls the self-renewal and pluripotency or multipotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells and many adult stem cells. We have previously found that SOX2 protein is monomethylated at lysine residues 42 and 117 by SET7 methyltransferase to promote SOX2 proteolysis, whereas LSD1 and PHF20L1 act on both methylated Lys-42 and Lys-117 to prevent SOX2 proteolysis. However, the mechanism by which the methylated SOX2 protein is degraded remains unclear. Here, we report that L3MBTL3, a protein with the malignant-brain-tumor (MBT) methylation-binding domain, is required for SOX2 proteolysis. Our studies showed that L3MBTL3 preferentially binds to the methylated Lys-42 in SOX2, although mutation of Lys-117 also partially reduces the interaction between SOX2 and L3MBTL3. The direct binding of L3MBTL3 to the methylated SOX2 protein leads to the recruitment of the CRL4DCAF5 ubiquitin E3 ligase to target SOX2 protein for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Whereas loss of either LSD1 or PHF20L1 destabilizes SOX2 protein and impairs the self-renewal and pluripotency of mouse ES cells, knockdown of L3MBTL3 or DCAF5 is sufficient to restore the protein levels of SOX2 and rescue the defects of mouse ES cells caused by LSD1 or PHF20L1 deficiency. We also found that retinoic acid-induced differentiation of mouse ES cells is accompanied by the enhanced degradation of the methylated SOX2 protein at both Lys-42 and Lys-117. Our studies provide novel insights into the mechanism by which the methylation-dependent degradation of SOX2 protein is controlled by the L3MBTL3-CRL4DCAF5 ubiquitin ligase complex.
Project description:The Malignant Brain Tumor (MBT) domain is a "chromatin reader", a protein module that binds to post-translational modifications on histone tails that are thought to affect a variety of chromatin processes, including transcription. More specifically, MBT domains recognize mono- and di-methylated lysines at a number of different positions on histone H3 and H4 tails. Three Drosophila proteins, SCM, L(3)MBT and SFMBT contain multiple adjacent MBT repeats and have critical roles in development, maintenance of cell identity, and tumor suppression. Although they function in different pathways, these proteins all localize to chromatin in vivo and repress transcription by a currently unknown molecular mechanism that requires the MBT domains. The human genome contains several homologues of these MBT proteins, some of which have been linked to important gene regulatory pathways, such as E2F/Rb- and Polycomb-mediated repression, and to the insurgence of certain neurological tumors. Here, we review the genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology of MBT proteins and their role in development and disease.
Project description:The post-translational modification of histones regulates many cellular processes, including transcription, replication and DNA repair. A large number of combinations of post-translational modifications are possible. This cipher is referred to as the histone code. Many of the enzymes that lay down this code have been identified. However, so far, few code-reading proteins have been identified. Here, we describe a protein-array approach for identifying methyl-specific interacting proteins. We found that not only chromo domains but also tudor and MBT domains bind to methylated peptides from the amino-terminal tails of histones H3 and H4. Binding specificity observed on the protein-domain microarray was corroborated using peptide pull-downs, surface plasma resonance and far western blotting. Thus, our studies expose tudor and MBT domains as new classes of methyl-lysine-binding protein modules, and also demonstrates that protein-domain microarrays are powerful tools for the identification of new domain types that recognize histone modifications.
Project description:Proteins which bind methylated lysines ("readers" of the histone code) are important components in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression and can also modulate other proteins that contain methyl-lysine such as p53 and Rb. Recognition of methyl-lysine marks by MBT domains leads to compaction of chromatin and a repressed transcriptional state. Antagonists of MBT domains would serve as probes to interrogate the functional role of these proteins and initiate the chemical biology of methyl-lysine readers as a target class. Small-molecule MBT antagonists were designed based on the structure of histone peptide-MBT complexes and their interaction with MBT domains determined using a chemiluminescent assay and ITC. The ligands discovered antagonize native histone peptide binding, exhibiting 5-fold stronger binding affinity to L3MBTL1 than its preferred histone peptide. The first cocrystal structure of a small molecule bound to L3MBTL1 was determined and provides new insights into binding requirements for further ligand design.
Project description:Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that is essential for metazoan development. Upon ligand binding, the Notch intracellular domain (NOTCH ICD) translocates into the nucleus and forms a complex with the transcription factor RBPJ (also known as CBF1 or CSL) to activate expression of Notch target genes. In the absence of a Notch signal, RBPJ acts as a transcriptional repressor. Using a proteomic approach, we identified L3MBTL3 (also known as MBT1) as a novel RBPJ interactor. L3MBTL3 competes with NOTCH ICD for binding to RBPJ In the absence of NOTCH ICD, RBPJ recruits L3MBTL3 and the histone demethylase KDM1A (also known as LSD1) to the enhancers of Notch target genes, leading to H3K4me2 demethylation and to transcriptional repression. Importantly, in vivo analyses of the homologs of RBPJ and L3MBTL3 in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans demonstrate that the functional link between RBPJ and L3MBTL3 is evolutionarily conserved, thus identifying L3MBTL3 as a universal modulator of Notch signaling in metazoans.
Project description:MBT domain proteins are involved in developmental processes and tumorigenesis. In vitro binding and mutagenesis studies have shown that individual MBT domains within clustered MBT repeat regions bind mono- and dimethylated histone lysine residues with little to no sequence specificity but discriminate against the tri- and unmethylated states. However, the exact function of promiscuous histone methyl-lysine binding in the biology of MBT domain proteins has not been elucidated. Here, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans four MBT domain protein LIN-61, in contrast to other MBT repeat factors, specifically interacts with histone H3 when methylated on lysine 9, displaying a strong preference for di- and trimethylated states (H3K9me2/3). Although the fourth MBT repeat is implicated in this interaction, H3K9me2/3 binding minimally requires MBT repeats two to four. Further, mutagenesis of residues conserved with other methyl-lysine binding MBT regions in the fourth MBT repeat does not abolish interaction, implicating a distinct binding mode. In vivo, H3K9me2/3 interaction of LIN-61 is required for C. elegans vulva development within the synMuvB pathway. Mutant LIN-61 proteins deficient in H3K9me2/3 binding fail to rescue lin-61 synMuvB function. Also, previously identified point mutant synMuvB alleles are deficient in H3K9me2/3 interaction although these target residues that are outside of the fourth MBT repeat. Interestingly, lin-61 genetically interacts with two other synMuvB genes, hpl-2, an HP1 homologous H3K9me2/3 binding factor, and met-2, a SETDB1 homologous H3K9 methyl transferase (H3K9MT), in determining C. elegans vulva development and fertility. Besides identifying the first sequence specific and di-/trimethylation binding MBT domain protein, our studies imply complex multi-domain regulation of ligand interaction of MBT domains. Our results also introduce a mechanistic link between LIN-61 function and biology, and they establish interplay of the H3K9me2/3 binding proteins, LIN-61 and HPL-2, as well as the H3K9MT MET-2 in distinct developmental pathways.