Ubiquitination of Histone H2B by Proteasome Subunit RPT6 Controls Histone Methylation Chromatin Dynamics During Memory Formation

Academic Article


  • Background: Posttranslational histone modifications play a critical role in the regulation of gene transcription underlying synaptic plasticity and memory formation. One such epigenetic change is histone ubiquitination, a process that is mediated by the ubiquitin–proteasome system in a manner similar to that by which proteins are normally targeted for degradation. However, histone ubiquitination mechanisms are poorly understood in the brain and in learning. In this article, we describe a new role for the ubiquitin–proteasome system in histone crosstalk, showing that learning-induced monoubiquitination of histone H2B (H2Bubi) is required for increases in the transcriptionally active H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) mark at learning-related genes in the hippocampus. Methods: Using a series of molecular, biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral experiments, we interrogated the effects of short interfering RNA–mediated knockdown and CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-mediated upregulation of ubiquitin ligases, deubiquitinating enzymes and histone methyltransferases in the rat dorsal hippocampus during memory consolidation. Results: We show that H2Bubi recruits H3K4me3 through a process that is dependent on the 19S proteasome subunit RPT6 and that a loss of H2Bubi in the hippocampus prevents learning-induced increases in H3K4me3, gene transcription, synaptic plasticity, and memory formation. Furthermore, we show that CRISPR–dCas9-mediated increases in H2Bubi promote H3K4me3 and memory formation under weak training conditions and that promoting histone methylation does not rescue memory impairments resulting from loss of H2Bubi. Conclusions: These results suggest that H2B ubiquitination regulates histone crosstalk in learning by way of nonproteolytic proteasome function, demonstrating a novel mechanism by which histone modifications are coordinated in response to learning.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2696775
  • Author List

  • Jarome TJ; Perez GA; Webb WM; Hatch KM; Navabpour S; Musaus M; Farrell K; Hauser RM; McFadden T; Martin K
  • Start Page

  • 1176
  • End Page

  • 1187
  • Volume

  • 89
  • Issue

  • 12