EHMT1 gene

euchromatic histone lysine methyltransferase 1

The EHMT1 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1. Histone methyltransferases are enzymes that modify proteins called histones. Histones are structural proteins that attach (bind) to DNA and give chromosomes their shape. By adding a molecule called a methyl group to histones, histone methyltransferases can turn off (suppress) the activity of certain genes, which is essential for normal development and function.

Kleefstra syndrome, a disorder affecting many parts of the body, is caused by the loss of the EHMT1 gene or by mutations that disable its function.

Most people with Kleefstra syndrome are missing a sequence of about 1 million DNA building blocks (base pairs) on one copy of chromosome 9 in each cell. The deletion occurs near the end of the long (q) arm of the chromosome at a location designated q34.3, a region containing the EHMT1 gene. Some affected individuals have shorter or longer deletions in the same region.

The loss of the EHMT1 gene from one copy of chromosome 9 in each cell is believed to be responsible for the characteristic features of Kleefstra syndrome in people with the 9q34.3 deletion. However, the loss of other genes in the same region may lead to additional health problems in some affected individuals.

About 25 percent of individuals with Kleefstra syndrome do not have a deletion of genetic material from chromosome 9; instead, these individuals have mutations in the EHMT1 gene. Some of these mutations change single protein building blocks (amino acids) in euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1. Others create a premature stop signal in the instructions for making the enzyme or alter the way the gene's instructions are pieced together to produce the enzyme. These changes generally result in an enzyme that is unstable and decays rapidly, or that is disabled and cannot function properly.

Either a deletion or a mutation affecting the EHMT1 gene results in a lack of functional euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1 enzyme. A lack of this enzyme impairs proper control of the activity of certain genes in many of the body's organs and tissues, resulting in the abnormalities of development and function characteristic of Kleefstra syndrome.

Cytogenetic Location: 9q34.3, which is the long (q) arm of chromosome 9 at position 34.3

Molecular Location: base pairs 137,618,988 to 137,836,127 on chromosome 9 (Homo sapiens Annotation Release 108, GRCh38.p7) (NCBI)

Cytogenetic Location: 9q34.3, which is the long (q) arm of chromosome 9 at position 34.3
  • bA188C12.1
  • DEL9q34
  • DKFZp667M072
  • Eu-HMTase1
  • euchromatic histone-lysine N-methyltransferase 1
  • FLJ12879
  • FP13812
  • G9a like protein
  • G9a-like protein 1
  • GLP
  • GLP1
  • H3-K9-HMTase 5
  • histone H3-K9 methyltransferase 5
  • histone-lysine N-methyltransferase, H3 lysine-9 specific 5
  • KIAA1876
  • KMT1D
  • lysine N-methyltransferase 1D
  • RP11-188C12.1