Michurina A, Sakib MS, Kerimoglu C, Krüger DM, Kaurani L, Islam MR, Devesh JP, Schröder S, Centeno TP, Zhou J, Pradhan R, Cha J, Xu X, Eichele G, Zeisberg EM, Kranz A, Stewart AF, Fischer A
Histone 3 lysine 4 methylation (H3K4me) is mediated by six different lysine methyltransferases. Amongst these enzymes SET domain containing 1b (SETD1B) has been linked to syndromic intellectual disability but its role in the postnatal brain has not been studied yet. Here we employ mice that lack Setd1b from excitatory neurons of the postnatal forebrain and combine neuron-specific ChIP-seq and RNA-seq approaches to elucidate its role in neuronal gene expression. We observe that SETD1B controls the expression of genes with a broad H3K4me3 peak at their promoters that represent neuronal enriched genes linked to learning and memory function. Comparative analysis to corresponding data from conditional Kmt2a and Kmt2b knockout mice suggests that this function is specific to SETD1B. Moreover, postnatal loss of Setd1b leads to severe learning impairment, suggesting that SETD1B-mediated regulation of H3K4me levels in postnatal neurons is critical for cognitive function.