Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Current Opinion in Plant Biology 21 (2014), pp. 75–82.

doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2014.07.004


Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Despite the proven correlation between gene transcriptional activity and the levels of tri-methyl marks on histone 3 lysine4 (H3K4me3) of their nucleosomes, whether H3K4me3 contributes to, or “registers,” activated transcription is still controversial. Other questions of broad relevance are whether histone-modifying proteins are involved in the recruitment of Pol II and the general transcription machinery and whether they have roles other than their enzyme activities. We address these questions as well as the roles of the ARABIDOPSIS HOMOLOG OF TRITHORAX1 (ATX1), of the COMPASS-related (AtCOMPASS) protein complex, and of their product, H3K4me3, at ATX1-dependent genes. We suggest that the ambiguity about the role of H3K4me3 as an activating mark is because of the unknown duality of the ATX1/AtCOMPASS to facilitate PIC assembly and to generate H3K4me3, which is essential for activating transcriptional elongation.