Regulation of DNA methylation patterns by CK2-mediated phosphorylation of Dnmt3a

Rachel Deplus, Loïc Blanchon, Arumugam Rajavelu, Abdelhalim Boukaba, Matthieu Defrance, Judith Luciani, Françoise Rothé, Sarah Dedeurwaerder, Hélène Denis, Arie B. Brinkman, Femke Simmer, Fabian Müller, Benjamin Bertin, Maria Berdasco, Pascale Putmans, Emilie Calonne, David W. Litchfield, Yvan De Launoit, Tomasz P. Jurkowski, Hendrik G. StunnenbergChristoph Bock, Christos Sotiriou, Mario F. Fraga, Manel Esteller, Albert Jeltsch, François Fuks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


DNA methylation is a central epigenetic modification that is established by de novo DNA methyltransferases. The mechanisms underlying the generation of genomic methylation patterns are still poorly understood. Using mass spectrometry and a phosphospecific Dnmt3a antibody, we demonstrate that CK2 phosphorylates endogenous Dnmt3a at two key residues located near its PWWP domain, thereby downregulating the ability of Dnmt3a to methylate DNA. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis shows that CK2 primarily modulates CpG methylation of several repeats, most notably of Alu SINEs. This modulation can be directly attributed to CK2-mediated phosphorylation of Dnmt3a. We also find that CK2-mediated phosphorylation is required for localization of Dnmt3a to heterochromatin. By revealing phosphorylation as a mode of regulation of de novo DNA methyltransferase function and by uncovering a mechanism for the regulation of methylation at repetitive elements, our results shed light on the origin of DNA methylation patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-753
Number of pages11
JournalCell Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


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