In vivo study of the nucleosome assembly functions of ASF1 histone chaperones in human cells.
ABSTRACT: Histone chaperones have been implicated in nucleosome assembly and disassembly as well as histone modification. ASF1 is a highly conserved histone H3/H4 chaperone that synergizes in vitro with two other histone chaperones, chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) and histone repression A factor (HIRA), in DNA synthesis-coupled and DNA synthesis-independent nucleosome assembly. Here, we identify mutants of histones H3.1 and H3.3 that are unable to interact with human ASF1A and ASF1B isoforms but that are still competent to bind CAF-1 and HIRA, respectively. We show that these mutant histones are inefficiently deposited into chromatin in vivo. Furthermore, we found that both ASF1A and ASF1B participate in the DNA synthesis-independent deposition of H3.3 in HeLa cells, thus highlighting an unexpected role for ASF1B in this pathway. This pathway does not require interaction of ASF1 with HIRA. We provide the first direct determination that ASF1A and ASF1B play a role in the efficiency of nucleosome assembly in vivo in human cells.
Project description:Human HIRA, ASF1a, ASF1b and CAF-1 are evolutionally conserved histone chaperones that form multiple functionally distinct chromatin-assembly complexes, with roles linked to diverse nuclear process, such as DNA replication and formation of heterochromatin in senescent cells. We report the crystal structure of an ASF1a-HIRA heterodimer and a biochemical dissection of ASF1a's mutually exclusive interactions with HIRA and the p60 subunit of CAF-1. The HIRA B domain forms an antiparallel beta-hairpin that binds perpendicular to the strands of the beta-sandwich of ASF1a, via beta-sheet, salt bridge and van der Waals contacts. The N- and C-terminal regions of ASF1a and ASF1b determine the different affinities of these two proteins for HIRA, by contacting regions outside the HIRA B domain. CAF-1 p60 also uses B domain-like motifs for binding to ASF1a, thereby competing with HIRA. Together, these studies begin to define the molecular determinants of assembly of functionally diverse macromolecular histone chaperone complexes.
Project description:During DNA replication, nucleosomes are rapidly assembled on newly synthesized DNA to restore chromatin organization. Asf1, a key histone H3-H4 chaperone required for this process, is phosphorylated by Tousled-like kinases (TLKs). Here, we identify TLK phosphorylation sites by mass spectrometry and dissect how phosphorylation has an impact on human Asf1 function. The divergent C-terminal tail of Asf1a is phosphorylated at several sites, and this is required for timely progression through S phase. Consistent with this, biochemical analysis of wild-type and phospho-mimetic Asf1a shows that phosphorylation enhances binding to histones and the downstream chaperones CAF-1 and HIRA. Moreover, we find that TLK phosphorylation of Asf1a is induced in cells experiencing deficiency of new histones and that TLK interaction with Asf1a involves its histone-binding pocket. We thus propose that TLK signalling promotes histone supply in S phase by targeting histone-free Asf1 and stimulating its ability to shuttle histones to sites of chromatin assembly.
Project description:In mammals, the canonical histone H3 and the variant H3.3 are assembled into chromatin through replication-coupled and replication-independent (RI) histone deposition pathways, respectively, to play distinct roles in chromatin function. H3.3 is largely associated with transcriptionally active regions via the activity of RI histone chaperone, HIRA. However, the precise role of the RI pathway and HIRA in active transcription and the mechanisms by which H3.3 affects gene activity are not known. In this study, we show that HIRA is an essential factor for muscle development by establishing MyoD activation in myotubes. HIRA and Asf1a, but not CHD1 or Asf1b, mediate H3.3 incorporation in the promoter and the critical upstream regulatory regions of the MyoD gene. HIRA and H3.3 are required for epigenetic transition into the more permissive chromatin structure for polymerase II recruitment to the promoter, regardless of transcription-associated covalent modification of histones. Our results suggest distinct epigenetic management of the master regulator with RI pathway components for cellular differentiation.
Project description:Anti-Silencing Factor 1 (ASF1) is a conserved H3-H4 histone chaperone involved in both Replication-Coupled and Replication-Independent (RI) nucleosome assembly pathways. At DNA replication forks, ASF1 plays an important role in regulating the supply of H3.1/2 and H4 to the CAF-1 chromatin assembly complex. ASF1 also provides H3.3-H4 dimers to HIRA and DAXX chaperones for RI nucleosome assembly. The early Drosophila embryo is an attractive system to study chromatin assembly in a developmental context. The formation of a diploid zygote begins with the unique, genome-wide RI assembly of paternal chromatin following sperm protamine eviction. Then, within the same cytoplasm, syncytial embryonic nuclei undergo a series of rapid, synchronous S and M phases to form the blastoderm embryo. Here, we have investigated the implication of ASF1 in these two distinct assembly processes.We show that depletion of the maternal pool of ASF1 with a specific shRNA induces a fully penetrant, maternal effect embryo lethal phenotype. Unexpectedly, despite the depletion of ASF1 protein to undetectable levels, we show that asf1 knocked-down (KD) embryos can develop to various stages, thus demonstrating that ASF1 is not absolutely required for the amplification of cleavage nuclei. Remarkably, we found that ASF1 is required for the formation of the male pronucleus, although ASF1 protein does not reside in the decondensing sperm nucleus. In asf1 KD embryos, HIRA localizes to the male nucleus but is only capable of limited and insufficient chromatin assembly. Finally, we show that the conserved HIRA B domain, which is involved in ASF1-HIRA interaction, is dispensable for female fertility.We conclude that ASF1 is critically required to load H3.3-H4 dimers on the HIRA complex prior to histone deposition on paternal DNA. This separation of tasks could optimize the rapid assembly of paternal chromatin within the gigantic volume of the egg cell. In contrast, ASF1 is surprisingly dispensable for the amplification of cleavage nuclei, although chromatin integrity is likely compromised in KD embryos.
Project description:The HIRA chaperone complex, comprised of HIRA, UBN1, and CABIN1, collaborates with histone-binding protein ASF1a to incorporate histone variant H3.3 into chromatin in a DNA replication-independent manner. To better understand HIRA's function and mechanism, we integrated HIRA, UBN1, ASF1a, and histone H3.3 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and gene expression analyses. Most HIRA-binding sites colocalize with UBN1, ASF1a, and H3.3 at active promoters and active and weak/poised enhancers. At promoters, binding of HIRA/UBN1/ASF1a correlates with the level of gene expression. HIRA is required for deposition of histone H3.3 at its binding sites. There are marked differences in nucleosome and coregulator composition at different classes of HIRA-bound regulatory sites. Underscoring this, we report physical interactions between the HIRA complex and transcription factors, a chromatin insulator and an ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex. Our results map the distribution of the HIRA chaperone across the chromatin landscape and point to different interacting partners at functionally distinct regulatory sites.
Project description:Efficient supply of new histones during DNA replication is critical to restore chromatin organization and maintain genome function. The histone chaperone anti-silencing function 1 (Asf1) serves a key function in providing H3.1-H4 to CAF-1 for replication-coupled nucleosome assembly. We identify Codanin-1 as a novel interaction partner of Asf1 regulating S-phase histone supply. Mutations in Codanin-1 can cause congenital dyserythropoietic anaemia type I (CDAI), characterized by chromatin abnormalities in bone marrow erythroblasts. Codanin-1 is part of a cytosolic Asf1-H3.1-H4-Importin-4 complex and binds directly to Asf1 via a conserved B-domain, implying a mutually exclusive interaction with the chaperones CAF-1 and HIRA. Codanin-1 depletion accelerates the rate of DNA replication and increases the level of chromatin-bound Asf1, suggesting that Codanin-1 guards a limiting step in chromatin replication. Consistently, ectopic Codanin-1 expression arrests S-phase progression by sequestering Asf1 in the cytoplasm, blocking histone delivery. We propose that Codanin-1 acts as a negative regulator of Asf1 function in chromatin assembly. This function is compromised by two CDAI mutations that impair complex formation with Asf1, providing insight into the molecular basis for CDAI disease.
Project description:Histone chaperones are proteins that interact with histones to regulate the thermodynamic process of nucleosome assembly. sNASP and ASF1 are conserved histone chaperones that interact with histones H3 and H4 and are found in a multi-chaperoning complex in vivo Previously we identified a short peptide motif within H3 that binds to the TPR domain of sNASP with nanomolar affinity. Interestingly, this peptide motif is sequestered within the known ASF1-H3-H4 interface, raising the question of how these two proteins are found in complex together with histones when they share the same binding site. Here, we show that sNASP contains at least two additional histone interaction sites that, unlike the TPR-H3 peptide interaction, are compatible with ASF1A binding. These surfaces allow ASF1A to form a quaternary complex with both sNASP and H3-H4. Furthermore, we demonstrate that sNASP makes a specific complex with H3 on its own in vitro, but not with H4, suggesting that it could work upstream of ASF1A. Further, we show that sNASP and ASF1A are capable of folding an H3-H4 dimer in vitro under native conditions. These findings reveal a network of binding events that may promote the entry of histones H3 and H4 into the nucleosome assembly pathway.
Project description:In mammalian cells, canonical histone H3 (H3.1) and H3 variant (H3.3) differ by five amino acids and are assembled, along with histone H4, into nucleosomes via distinct nucleosome assembly pathways. H3.1-H4 molecules are assembled by histone chaperone CAF-1 in a replication-coupled process, whereas H3.3-H4 are assembled via HIRA in a replication-independent pathway. Newly synthesized histone H4 is acetylated at lysine 5 and 12 (H4K5,12) by histone acetyltransferase 1 (HAT1). However, it remains unclear whether HAT1 and H4K5,12ac differentially regulate these two nucleosome assembly processes. Here, we show that HAT1 binds and acetylates H4 in H3.1-H4 molecules preferentially over H4 in H3.3-H4. Depletion of Hat1, the catalytic subunit of HAT1 complex, results in reduced H3.1 occupancy at H3.1-enriched genes and reduced association of Importin 4 with H3.1, but not H3.3. Finally, depletion of Hat1 or CAF-1p150 leads to changes in expression of a H3.1-enriched gene. These results indicate that HAT1 differentially impacts nucleosome assembly of H3.1-H4 and H3.3-H4.
Project description:Sexual reproduction in flowering plants is distinct from that in animals since gametogenesis requires production of haploid spores, which divide and differentiate into specialised gametophyte structures. Anti-Silencing Function 1 (ASF1) is a histone H3/H4 chaperone involved in chromatin remodeling during cell division, which we have found plays a critical role in gametophyte development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Using mutant alleles for the two ASF1 homologs, asf1a and asf1b, we show that ASF1 is required for successful development of gametophytes and acquisition of fertilisation competency. On the female side, reproductive failure is caused by aberrant development of ovules, leading to gamete degeneration. On the male side, we show both in vitro and in vivo that asf1 mutant pollen tube growth is stunted, limiting fertilisation to ovules nearest the stigma. Consistent with ASF1 importance in gametogenesis, we show that ASF1A and ASF1B are expressed throughout female and male gametogenesis. We show that the gametogenesis defects can be corrected by ASF1A and ASF1B transgenes, and that ASF1A and ASF1B act redundantly. Thus, in contrast to the role of ASF1 in sporophytic cell cycle progression, our data indicate that during reproduction, ASF1 is required for the precise nuclei differentiation necessary for gametophyte maturation and fertilisation.
Project description:Histone chaperones bind specific histones to mediate their storage, eviction or deposition from/or into chromatin. The HIRA histone chaperone complex, composed of HIRA, ubinuclein-1 (UBN1) and CABIN1, cooperates with the histone chaperone ASF1a to mediate H3.3-specific binding and chromatin deposition. Here we demonstrate that the conserved UBN1 Hpc2-related domain (HRD) is a novel H3.3-specific-binding domain. Biochemical and biophysical studies show the UBN1-HRD preferentially binds H3.3/H4 over H3.1/H4. X-ray crystallographic and mutational studies reveal that conserved residues within the UBN1-HRD and H3.3 G90 as key determinants of UBN1-H3.3-binding specificity. Comparison of the structure with the unrelated H3.3-specific chaperone DAXX reveals nearly identical points of contact between the chaperone and histone in the proximity of H3.3 G90, although the mechanism for H3.3 G90 recognition appears to be distinct. This study points to UBN1 as the determinant of H3.3-specific binding and deposition by the HIRA complex.