H3K36 Methylation and the Chromodomain Protein Eaf3 Are Required for Proper Cotranscriptional Spliceosome Assembly
Spliceosome assembly takes place in the context of the chromatin environment, suggesting that the state of the chromatin may affect splicing. The molecular details and mechanisms through which chromatin affects splicing, however, are still unclear. Here, we show a role for the histone methyltransferase Set2 and its histone modification, H3K36 methylation, in pre-mRNA splicing through high-throughput sequencing. Moreover, the effect of H3K36 methylation on pre-mRNA splicing is mediated through the chromodomain protein Eaf3. We find that Eaf3 is recruited to intron-containing genes and that Eaf3 interacts with the splicing factor Prp45. Eaf3 acts with Prp45 and Prp19 after formation of the precatalytic B complex around the time of splicing activation, thus revealing the step in splicing that is regulated by H3K36 methylation. These studies support a model whereby H3K36 facilitates recruitment of an “adapter protein” to support efficient, constitutive splicing. Leung et al. demonstrate that H3K36 trimethylation facilitates efficient pre-mRNA splicing through the association of chromodomain protein Eaf3. Eaf3 binds to methylated H3K36 at intron-containing genes to stabilize association of the splicing factor Prp45 and regulate proper cotranscriptional spliceosome assembly.