Nucleic Acids Research vol:41 issue:2 pages:842-854
The histone methyltransferase EZH2 regulates cell proliferation and differentiation by silencing Polycomb group target genes. NIPP1, a nuclear regulator of serine/threonine protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), has been implicated in the regulation of EZH2 occupancy at target loci, but the underlying mechanism is not understood. Here, we demonstrate that the phosphorylation of EZH2 by cyclin-dependent kinases at Thr416 creates a docking site for the ForkHead-associated domain of NIPP1. Recruited NIPP1 enables the net phosphorylation of EZH2 by inhibiting its dephosphorylation by PP1. Accordingly, a NIPP1-binding mutant of EZH2 is hypophosphorylated, and the knockdown of NIPP1 results in a reduced phosphorylation of endogenous EZH2. Conversely, the loss of PP1 is associated with a hyperphosphorylation of EZH2. A genome-wide promoter-binding profiling in HeLa cells revealed that the NIPP1-binding mutant shows a deficient association with about a third of the Polycomb target genes, and these are enriched for functions in proliferation. Our data identify PP1 as an EZH2 phosphatase and demonstrate that the phosphorylation-regulated association of EZH2 with proliferation-related targets depends on associated NIPP1.