Thomas Jenuwein

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Distinct modifications of histone amino termini, such as acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation, have been proposed to underlie a chromatin-based regulatory mechanism that modulates the accessibility of genetic information. In addition to histone modifications that facilitate gene activity, it is of similar importance to restrict inappropriate gene(More)
Chromatin, the physiological template of all eukaryotic genetic information, is subject to a diverse array of posttranslational modifications that largely impinge on histone amino termini, thereby regulating access to the underlying DNA. Distinct histone amino-terminal modifications can generate synergistic or antagonistic interaction affinities for(More)
The organization of chromatin into higher-order structures influences chromosome function and epigenetic gene regulation. Higher-order chromatin has been proposed to be nucleated by the covalent modification of histone tails and the subsequent establishment of chromosomal subdomains by non-histone modifier factors. Here we show that human SUV39H1 and murine(More)
Histone H3 lysine 9 methylation has been proposed to provide a major "switch" for the functional organization of chromosomal subdomains. Here, we show that the murine Suv39h histone methyltransferases (HMTases) govern H3-K9 methylation at pericentric heterochromatin and induce a specialized histone methylation pattern that differs from the broad H3-K9(More)
Histone lysine methylation is a central modification to mark functionally distinct chromatin regions. In particular, H3-K9 trimethylation has emerged as a hallmark of pericentric heterochromatin in mammals. Here we show that H4-K20 trimethylation is also focally enriched at pericentric heterochromatin. Intriguingly, H3-K9 trimethylation by the Suv39h(More)
Su(var)3-9 is a dominant modifier of heterochromatin-induced gene silencing. Like its mammalian and Schizosaccharomyces pombe homologues, Su(var) 3-9 encodes a histone methyltransferase (HMTase), which selectively methylates histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3-K9). In Su(var)3-9 null mutants, H3-K9 methylation at chromocentre heterochromatin is strongly reduced,(More)
BACKGROUND Histone H3 lysine 9 (H3-K9) methylation and DNA methylation are characteristic hallmarks of mammalian heterochromatin. H3-K9 methylation was recently shown to be a prerequisite for DNA methylation in Neurospora crassa and Arabidopsis thaliana. Currently, it is unknown whether a similar dependence exists in mammalian organisms. RESULTS Here, we(More)
Dicer is the enzyme that cleaves double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into 21-25-nt-long species responsible for sequence-specific RNA-induced gene silencing at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, or translational level. We disrupted the dicer-1 (dcr-1) gene in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells by conditional gene targeting and generated Dicer-null ES cells.(More)
Histone lysine methylation has been shown to index silenced chromatin regions at, for example, pericentric heterochromatin or of the inactive X chromosome. Here, we examined the distribution of repressive histone lysine methylation states over the entire family of DNA repeats in the mouse genome. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation in a cluster analysis(More)
CpG island hypermethylation and global genomic hypomethylation are common epigenetic features of cancer cells. Less attention has been focused on histone modifications in cancer cells. We characterized post-translational modifications to histone H4 in a comprehensive panel of normal tissues, cancer cell lines and primary tumors. Using immunodetection,(More)