S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is the methyl-donor substrate for DNA and histone methyltransferases that regulate cellular epigenetic states. This metabolism-epigenome link enables the sensitization of chromatin methylation to altered SAM abundance. However, a chromatin-wide understanding of the adaptive/responsive mechanisms that allow cells to actively protect epigenetic information during life-experienced fluctuations in SAM availability are unknown. We identified a robust response to SAM depletion that is highlighted by preferential cytoplasmic and nuclear de novo mono-methylation of H3 Lys 9 (H3K9) at the expense of global losses in histone di- and tri-methylation. Under SAM-depleted conditions, de novo H3K9 mono-methylation preserves heterochromatin stability and supports global epigenetic persistence upon metabolic recovery. This unique chromatin response was robust across the mouse lifespan and correlated with improved metabolic health, supporting a significant role for epigenetic adaptation to SAM depletion in vivo. Together, these studies provide the first evidence for active epigenetic adaptation and persistence to metabolic stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)