The Nrd1-Nab3-Sen1 (NNS) complex integrates molecular cues to direct termination of noncoding transcription in budding yeast. NNS is positively regulated by histone methylation as well as through Nrd1 binding to the initiating form of RNA PolII. These cues collaborate with Nrd1 and Nab3 binding to target RNA sequences in nascent transcripts through their RRM RNA recognition motifs. In this study, we identify nine lysine residues distributed amongst Nrd1, Nab3 and Sen1 that are methylated, suggesting novel molecular inputs for NNS regulation. We identify mono-methylation of one these residues (Nab3-K363me1) as being partly dependent on the H3K4 methyltransferase, Set1, a known regulator of NNS function. Moreover, the accumulation of Nab3-K363me1 is essentially abolished in strains lacking SET3, a SET domain containing protein that is positively regulated by H3K4 methylation. Nab3-K363 resides within its RRM and physically contacts target RNA. Mutation of Nab3-K363 to arginine (Nab3-K363R) decreases RNA binding of the Nab3 RRM in vitro and causes transcription termination defects and slow growth. These findings identify SET3 as a potential contextual regulator of Nab3 function through its role in methylation of Nab3-K363. Consistent with this hypothesis, we report that SET3 exhibits genetic activation of NAB3 that is observed in a sensitized context.

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Journal Nucleic acids research
Lee, K.Y. (Kwan Yin), Chopra, A. (Anand), Burke, G.L. (Giovanni L.), Chen, Z. (Ziyan), Greenblatt, J.F. (Jack F.), Biggar, K.K, & Meneghini, M.D. (Marc D.). (2020). A crucial RNA-binding lysine residue in the Nab3 RRM domain undergoes SET1 and SET3-responsive methylation. Nucleic acids research, 48(6), 2897–2911. doi:10.1093/nar/gkaa029