CDK2 regulates the NRF1/Ehmt1 axis during meiotic prophase I

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Meiosis generates four genetically distinct haploid gametes over the course of two reductional cell divisions. Meiotic divisions are characterized by the coordinated deposition and removal of various epigenetic marks. Here we propose that nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF1) regulates transcription of euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1 (EHMT1) to ensure normal patterns of H3K9 methylation during meiotic prophase I. We demonstrate that cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK2) can bind to the promoters of a number of genes in male germ cells including that of Ehmt1 through interaction with the NRF1 transcription factor. Our data indicate that CDK2-mediated phosphorylation of NRF1 can occur at two distinct serine residues and negatively regulates NRF1 DNA binding activity in vitro. Furthermore, induced deletion of Cdk2 in spermatocytes results in increased expression of many NRF1 target genes including Ehmt1 We hypothesize that the regulation of NRF1 transcriptional activity by CDK2 may allow the modulation of Ehmt1 expression, therefore controlling the dynamic methylation of H3K9 during meiotic prophase.


  • Nathan Palmer
  • S Zakiah A Talib
  • Chandrahas Koumar Ratnacaram
  • Diana Low
  • Xavier Bisteau
  • Joanna Hui Si Lee
  • Elisabeth Pfeiffenberger
  • Heike Wollmann
  • Joel Heng Loong Tan
  • Sheena Wee
  • Radoslaw Sobota
  • Jayantha Gunaratne
  • Daniel M Messerschmidt
  • Ernesto Guccione
  • Philipp Kaldis
Externa organisationer
  • National University of Singapore
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Sidor (från-till)2896-2918
TidskriftJournal of Cell Biology
Utgåva nummer9
StatusPublished - 2019 sep 2
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa