Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.412, No.2, 214-219, 2011
Structural insights into the regulation and the recognition of histone marks by the SET domain of NSD1
The development of epigenetic therapies fuels cancer hope. DNA-methylation inhibitors, histone-deacetylase and histone-methyltransferase (HMTase) inhibitors are being developed as the utilization of epigenetic targets is emerging as an effective and valuable approach to chemotherapy as well as chemoprevention of cancer. The nuclear receptor binding SET domain (NSD) protein is a family of three HMTases, NSD1, NSD2/MMSET/WHSC1, and NSD3/WHSC1L1 that are critical in maintaining the chromatin integrity. A growing number of studies have reported alterations or amplifications of NSD1, NSD2, or NSD3 in numerous carcinogenic events. Reducing NSDs activity through specific lysine-HMTase inhibitors appears promising to help suppressing cancer growth. However, little is known about the NSD pathways and our understanding of the histone lysine-HMTase mechanism is partial. To shed some light on both the recognition and the regulation of epigenetic marks by the SET domain of the NSD family, we investigate the structural mechanisms of the docking of the histone-H4 tail on the SET domain of NSD1. Our finding exposes a key regulatory and recognition mechanism driven by the flexibility of a loop at the interface of the SET and postSET region. Finally, we prospect the special value of this regulatory region for developing specific and selective NSD inhibitors for the epigenetic therapy of cancers. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.