J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (6): 1091-1096.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13103

Special Issue: Epigenetics

• Breakthrough Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recognition of H3K9me1 by maize RNA-directed DNA methylation factor SHH2

Yuhua Wang1†, Xuelin Zhou1,2†, Jinyan Luo1, Suhui Lv3, Rui Liu3, Xuan Du3, Bei Jia1, Fengtong Yuan1,2, Heng Zhang1 and Jiamu Du3*   

  1. 1National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics and Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201602, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3School of Life Science, Key Laboratory of Molecular Design for Plant Cell Factory of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Institute of Plant and Food Science, School of Life Sciences, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Jiamu Du (dujm@sustech.edu.cn).
  • Received:2021-02-21 Accepted:2021-04-20 Online:2021-04-29 Published:2021-06-01

Abstract: RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) is a plant-specific de novo DNA methylation pathway, which has extensive cross-talk with histone modifications. Here, we report that the maize RdDM regulator SAWADEE HOMEODOMAIN HOMOLOG 2 (SHH2) is an H3K9me1 reader. Our structural studies reveal that H3K9me1 recognition is achieved by recognition of the methyl group via a classic aromatic cage and hydrogen-bonding and salt-bridge interactions with the free protons of the mono-methyllysine. The di- and tri-methylation states disrupt the polar interactions, decreasing the binding affinity. Our study reveals a mono-methyllysine recognition mechanism which potentially links RdDM to H3K9me1 in maize.

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