IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: histone H4 lysine20 N-methyltransferase

Reaction: S-adenosyl-L-methionine + a [histone H4]-L-lysine20 = S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine + a [histone H4]-N6-methyl-L-lysine-20

Other name(s): KMT5A (gene name); SET8 (gene name); PR-SET7 (gene name)

Systematic name: S-adenosyl-L-methionine:[histone H4]-L-lysine20 N6-methyltransferase

Comments: The enzyme catalyses the monomethylation of the L-lysine20 residue of histone H4 (H4K20). This event is usually followed by further methylation by EC, histone H4 N-methyl-L-lysine20 N-methyltransferase. This enzyme plays a pivotal role in DNA replication. Activity is high during the G2 and M phases, but declines significantly during G1 and S phases. Mutations in the enzyme have severe consequences, including DNA double-strand breaks, activation of DNA damage checkpoints, defective cell cycle progression, and reduced cell proliferation.

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, MetaCyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Fang, J., Feng, Q., Ketel, C.S., Wang, H., Cao, R., Xia, L., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Tempst, P., Simon, J.A. and Zhang, Y. Purification and functional characterization of SET8, a nucleosomal histone H4-lysine 20-specific methyltransferase. Curr. Biol. 12 (2002) 1086-1099. [PMID: 12121615]

2. Nishioka, K., Rice, J.C., Sarma, K., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Werner, J., Wang, Y., Chuikov, S., Valenzuela, P., Tempst, P., Steward, R., Lis, J.T., Allis, C.D. and Reinberg, D. PR-Set7 is a nucleosome-specific methyltransferase that modifies lysine 20 of histone H4 and is associated with silent chromatin. Mol. Cell 9 (2002) 1201-1213. [PMID: 12086618]

3. Jorgensen, S., Elvers, I., Trelle, M.B., Menzel, T., Eskildsen, M., Jensen, O.N., Helleday, T., Helin, K. and Sorensen, C.S. The histone methyltransferase SET8 is required for S-phase progression. J. Cell Biol. 179 (2007) 1337-1345. [PMID: 18166648]

4. Oda, H., Okamoto, I., Murphy, N., Chu, J., Price, S.M., Shen, M.M., Torres-Padilla, M.E., Heard, E. and Reinberg, D. Monomethylation of histone H4-lysine 20 is involved in chromosome structure and stability and is essential for mouse development. Mol. Cell Biol. 29 (2009) 2278-2295. [PMID: 19223465]

5. Jorgensen, S., Schotta, G. and Sorensen, C.S. Histone H4 lysine 20 methylation: key player in epigenetic regulation of genomic integrity. Nucleic Acids Res. 41 (2013) 2797-2806. [PMID: 23345616]

[EC created 2019]

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