The Histone Methyltransferase Wbp7 Controls Macrophage Function through GPI Glycolipid Anchor Synthesis

Liv Austenaa, Iros Barozzi, Agnieszka Chronowska, Alberto Termanini, Renato Ostuni, Elena Prosperini, A. Francis Stewart, Giuseppe Testa, Gioacchino Natoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Histone methyltransferases catalyze site-specific deposition of methyl groups, enabling recruitment of transcriptional regulators. In mammals, trimethylation of lysine 4 in histone H3, a modification localized at the transcription start sites of active genes, is catalyzed by six enzymes (SET1a and SET1b, MLL1-MLL4) whose specific functions are largely unknown. By using a genomic approach, we found that in macrophages, MLL4 (also known as Wbp7) was required for the expression of Pigp, an essential component of the GPI-GlcNAc transferase, the enzyme catalyzing the first step of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor synthesis. Impaired Pigp expression in Wbp7 -/- macrophages abolished GPI anchor-dependent loading of proteins on the cell membrane. Consistently, loss of GPI-anchored CD14, the coreceptor for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and other bacterial molecules, markedly attenuated LPS-triggered intracellular signals and gene expression changes. These data link a histone-modifying enzyme to a biosynthetic pathway and indicate a specialized biological role for Wbp7 in macrophage function and antimicrobial response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-585
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 20 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Histone Methyltransferase Wbp7 Controls Macrophage Function through GPI Glycolipid Anchor Synthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this