The histone H4 lysine 20 demethylase DPY-21 regulates the dynamics of condensin DC binding

Laura Breimann, Ana Karina Morao, Jun Kim, David Sebastian Jimenez, Nina Maryn, Krishna Bikkasani, Michael J. Carrozza, Sarah E. Albritton, Maxwell Kramer, Lena Annika Street, Kustrim Cerimi, Vic Fabienne Schumann, Ella Bahry, Stephan Preibisch, Andrew Woehler, Sevinç Ercan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Condensin is a multi-subunit structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complex that binds to and compacts chromosomes. Here, we addressed the regulation of condensin binding dynamics using Caenorhabditis elegans condensin DC, which represses X chromosomes in hermaphrodites for dosage compensation. We established fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) using the SMC4 homolog DPY-27 and showed that a well-characterized ATPase mutation abolishes DPY-27 binding to X chromosomes. Next, we performed FRAP in the background of several chromatin modifier mutants that cause varying degrees of X chromosome derepression. The greatest effect was in a null mutant of the H4K20me2 demethylase DPY-21, where the mobile fraction of condensin DC reduced from ∼30% to 10%. In contrast, a catalytic mutant of dpy-21 did not regulate condensin DC mobility. Hi-C sequencing data from the dpy-21 null mutant showed little change compared to wild-type data, uncoupling Hi-C-measured long-range DNA contacts from transcriptional repression of the X chromosomes. Taken together, our results indicate that DPY-21 has a non-catalytic role in regulating the dynamics of condensin DC binding, which is important for transcription repression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number274115
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


  • C. elegans
  • Condensin
  • FRAP
  • Hi-C
  • Histone modifications
  • Transcription
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases/genetics
  • X Chromosome/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans/genetics
  • Histone Demethylases
  • Lysine
  • Histones/genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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