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Macrophages are critical immune cells in inflammatory diseases, and their differentiation and function are tightly regulated by histone modifications. H3K79 methylation is a histone modification associated with active gene expression, and DOT1L is the only histone methyltransferase for H3K79. Here we determine the role of DOT1L in macrophages by applying a selective DOT1L inhibitor in mouse and human macrophages and using myeloid-specific Dot1l-deficient mice. We found that DOT1L directly regulates macrophage function by controlling lipid biosynthesis gene programs including central lipid regulators like sterol regulatory element-binding proteins SREBP1 and SREBP2. DOT1L inhibition also leads to macrophage hyperactivation, which is associated with disrupted SREBP pathways. In vivo, myeloid Dot1l deficiency reduces atherosclerotic plaque stability and increases the activation of inflammatory plaque macrophages. Our data show that DOT1L is a crucial regulator of macrophage inflammatory responses and lipid regulatory pathways and suggest a high relevance of H3K79 methylation in inflammatory disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111703
JournalCell reports
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • CP: Molecular biology
  • DOT1L
  • H3K79
  • atherosclerosis
  • epigenetics
  • immune system
  • inflammation
  • lipid metabolism
  • macrophage
  • methyltransferase

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