Disassembly of nucleosomes in which genomic DNA is packaged with histone regulates gene expression. However, the mechanisms underlying nucleosome disassembly for gene expression remain elusive. We show here that epidermal growth factor receptor activation results in the binding of the RNF8 forkhead-associated domain to pyruvate kinase M2–phosphorylated histone H3-T11, leading to K48-linked polyubiquitylation of histone H3 at K4 and subsequent proteasome-dependent protein degradation. In addition, H3 polyubiquitylation induces histone dissociation from chromatin, nucleosome disassembly, and binding of RNA polymerase II to MYC and CCND1 promoter regions for transcription. RNF8-mediated histone H3 polyubiquitylation promotes tumor cell glycolysis and proliferation and brain tumorigenesis. Our findings uncover the role of RNF8-mediated histone H3 polyubiquitylation in the regulation of histone H3 stability and chromatin modification, paving the way to gene expression regulation and tumorigenesis.
- Submitted: 3 January 2017
- Revision received 31 March 2017
- Accepted: 6 April 2017
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