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Methionine Metabolism Shapes T Helper Cell Responses through Regulation of Epigenetic Reprogramming

Roy, DG;Chen, J;Mamane, V;Ma, EH;Muhire, BM;Sheldon, RD;Shorstova, T;Koning, R;Johnson, RM;Esaulova, E;Williams, KS;Hayes, S;Steadman, M;Samborska, B;Swain, A;Daigneault, A;Chubukov, V;Roddy, TP;Foulkes, W;Pospisilik, JA;Bourgeois-Daigneault, MC;Artyomov,

Epigenetic modifications on DNA and histones regulate gene expression by modulating chromatin accessibility to transcription machinery. Here we identify methionine as a key nutrient affecting epigenetic reprogramming in CD4+ T helper (Th) cells. Using metabolomics, we showed that methionine is rapidly taken up by activated Tcells and serves as the major substrate for biosynthesis of the universal methyl donor S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM). Methionine was required to maintain intracellular SAM pools in Tcells. Methionine restriction reduced histone H3K4 methylation (H3K4me3) at the promoter regions of key genes involved in Th17 cell proliferation and cytokine production. Applied to the mouse model of multiple sclerosis (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis), dietary methionine restriction reduced the expansion of pathogenic Th17 cells invivo, leading to reduced Tcell-mediated neuroinflammation and disease onset. Our data identify methionine as a key nutritional factor shaping Th cell proliferation and function in part through regulation of histone methylation. Copyright 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.