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Reversing histone methylation


Histones package DNA, and post-translational modifications of histones can regulate access to DNA. Until recently, histone methylation—unlike all other histone modifications—was considered a permanent mark. The discovery of enzymes that reverse the methylation of lysines and arginines challenges our current thinking on the unique nature of histone methylation, and substantially increases the complexity of histone modification pathways.

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Figure 1: Summary of the proteins that bind methylated histones.
Figure 2: Reaction mechanisms for methyl group removal.


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Correspondence to Tony Kouzarides.

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Bannister, A., Kouzarides, T. Reversing histone methylation. Nature 436, 1103–1106 (2005).

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