Modulating chromatin through histone methylation orchestrates numerous cellular processes. SETD2-dependent trimethylation of histone H3K36 is associated with active transcription. Here, we define a role for H3K36 trimethylation in homologous recombination (HR) repair in human cells. We find that depleting SETD2 generates a mutation signature resembling RAD51 depletion at I-SceI-induced DNA double-strand break (DSB) sites, with significantly increased deletions arising through microhomology-mediated end-joining. We establish a presynaptic role for SETD2 methyltransferase in HR, where it facilitates the recruitment of C-terminal binding protein interacting protein (CtIP) and promotes DSB resection, allowing Replication Protein A (RPA) and RAD51 binding to DNA damage sites. Furthermore, reducing H3K36me3 levels by overexpressing KDM4A/JMJD2A, an oncogene and H3K36me3/2 demethylase, or an H3.3K36M transgene also reduces HR repair events. We propose that error-free HR repair within H3K36me3-decorated transcriptionally active genomic regions promotes cell homeostasis. Moreover, these findings provide insights as to why oncogenic mutations cluster within the H3K36me3 axis. © 2014 The Authors.
Pfister, S. X., Ahrabi, S., Zalmas, L. P., Sarkar, S., Aymard, F., Bachrati, C. Z., … Humphrey, T. C. (2014). SETD2-Dependent Histone H3K36 Trimethylation Is Required for Homologous Recombination Repair and Genome Stability. Cell Reports, 7(6), 2006–2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2014.05.026