SETD6 is a negative regulator of oxidative stress response

Ayelet Chen, Michal Feldman, Zlata Vershinin, Dan Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The protein methyltransferase SETD6 is a key regulator of proliferation and inflammatory processes. However, the role of SETD6 in the regulation of additional cell signaling pathways has not been well studied. Here we show that SETD6 is a negative regulator of the oxidative stress response. Depletion of SETD6 from cells results in elevated Nrf2 levels and a significant increase in Nrf2 antioxidant target gene expression. Using proteomic tools, we uncovered a novel interaction between SETD6 and the oxidative stress sensor DJ1, a protein required for Nrf2-dependent transcription of antioxidant target genes. We show that SETD6 binds DJ1 both in-vitro and in cells but does not methylate DJ1. Under basal conditions, SETD6 and DJ1 are associated at chromatin. Through this interaction, SETD6 inhibits DJ1 activity, which in turn leads to the repression of Nrf2-dependent transcription. In response to oxidative stress, the transcription of Nrf2 antioxidant genes increases. We here show that under this condition, SETD6 mRNA and protein levels are reduced, leading to elevation in Nrf2 expression level and to a weaken interaction between SETD6 and DJ1 at chromatin.Taken together, these findings demonstrate that SETD6 negatively regulates the Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress response through a physical and catalytically independent interaction with DJ1 at chromatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-427
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • DJ1
  • Oxidative stress
  • SETD6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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