BRD4 methylation by the methyltransferase SETD6 regulates selective transcription to control mRNA translation

Zlata Vershinin, Michal Feldman, Thilo Werner, Lital Estrella Weil, Margarita Kublanovsky, Elina Abaev-Schneiderman, Menachem Sklarz, Enid Y.N. Lam, Khawla Alasad, Sarah Picaud, Barak Rotblat, Ruth A. McAdam, Vered Chalifa-Caspi, Marcus Bantscheff, Trevor Chapman, Huw D. Lewis, Panagis Filippakopoulos, Mark A. Dawson, Paola Grandi, Rab K. PrinjhaDan Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The transcriptional coactivator BRD4 has a fundamental role in transcription regulation and thus became a promising epigenetic therapeutic candidate to target diverse pathologies. However, the regulation of BRD4 by posttranslational modifications has been largely unexplored. Here, we show that BRD4 is methylated on chromatin at lysine-99 by the protein lysine methyltransferase SETD6. BRD4 methylation negatively regulates the expression of genes that are involved in translation and inhibits total mRNA translation in cells. Mechanistically, we provide evidence that supports a model where BRD4 methylation by SETD6 does not have a direct role in the association with acetylated histone H4 at chromatin. However, this methylation specifically determines the recruitment of the transcription factor E2F1 to selected target genes that are involved in mRNA translation. Together, our findings reveal a previously unknown molecular mechanism for BRD4 methylation–dependent gene-specific targeting, which may serve as a new direction for the development of therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabf5374
JournalScience advances
Issue number22
StatePublished - 1 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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