CENPT bridges adjacent CENPA nucleosomes on young human ?-satellite dimers.
ABSTRACT: Nucleosomes containing the CenH3 (CENPA or CENP-A) histone variant replace H3 nucleosomes at centromeres to provide a foundation for kinetochore assembly. CENPA nucleosomes are part of the constitutive centromere associated network (CCAN) that forms the inner kinetochore on which outer kinetochore proteins assemble. Two components of the CCAN, CENPC and the histone-fold protein CENPT, provide independent connections from the ?171-bp centromeric ?-satellite repeat units to the outer kinetochore. However, the spatial relationship between CENPA nucleosomes and these two branches remains unclear. To address this issue, we use a base-pair resolution genomic readout of protein-protein interactions, comparative chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with sequencing, together with sequential ChIP, to infer the in vivo molecular architecture of the human CCAN. In contrast to the currently accepted model in which CENPT associates with H3 nucleosomes, we find that CENPT is centered over the CENPB box between two well-positioned CENPA nucleosomes on the most abundant centromeric young ?-satellite dimers and interacts with the CENPB/CENPC complex. Upon cross-linking, the entire CENPA/CENPB/CENPC/CENPT complex is nuclease-protected over an ?-satellite dimer that comprises the fundamental unit of centromeric chromatin. We conclude that CENPA/CENPC and CENPT pathways for kinetochore assembly are physically integrated over young ?-satellite dimers.
Project description:A key element for defining the centromere identity is the incorporation of a specific histone H3, CENPA, known as Cnp1p in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Previous studies have suggested that functional S. pombe centromeres lack regularly positioned nucleosomes and may involve chromatin remodeling as a key step of kinetochore assembly. We used tiling microarrays to show that nucleosomes are, in fact, positioned in regular intervals in the core of centromere 2, providing the first high-resolution map of regional centromere chromatin. Nucleosome locations are not disrupted by mutations in kinetochore protein genes cnp1, mis18, mis12, nuf2, mal2; overexpression of cnp1; or the deletion of ams2, which encodes a GATA-like factor participating in CENPA incorporation. Bioinformatics analysis of the centromere sequence indicates certain enriched motifs in linker regions between nucleosomes and reveals a sequence bias in nucleosome positioning. In addition, sequence analysis of nucleosome-free regions identifies novel binding sites of Ams2p. We conclude that centromeric nucleosome positions are stable and may be derived from the underlying DNA sequence.
Project description:Eukaryotic chromosome segregation relies upon specific connections from DNA to the microtubule-based spindle that forms at cell division. The chromosomal locus that directs this process is the centromere, where a structure called the kinetochore forms upon entry into mitosis. Recent crystallography and single-particle electron microscopy have provided unprecedented high-resolution views of the molecular complexes involved in this process. The centromere is epigenetically specified by nucleosomes harbouring a histone H3 variant, CENP-A, and we review recent progress on how it differentiates centromeric chromatin from the rest of the chromosome, the biochemical pathway that mediates its assembly and how two non-histone components of the centromere specifically recognize CENP-A nucleosomes. The core centromeric nucleosome complex (CCNC) is required to recruit a 16-subunit complex termed the constitutive centromere associated network (CCAN), and we highlight recent structures reported of the budding yeast CCAN. Finally, the structures of multiple modular sub-complexes of the kinetochore have been solved at near-atomic resolution, providing insight into how connections are made to the CCAN on one end and to the spindle microtubules on the other. One can now build molecular models from the DNA through to the physical connections to microtubules.
Project description:Centromeres are essential chromosomal regions required for kinetochore assembly and chromosome segregation. The composition and organization of centromeric nucleosomes containing the essential histone H3 variant CENP-A (CID in Drosophila) is a fundamental, unresolved issue. Using immunoprecipitation of CID mononucleosomes and cysteine crosslinking, we demonstrate that centromeric nucleosomes contain CID dimers in vivo. Furthermore, CID dimerization and centromeric targeting require a residue implicated in formation of the four-helix bundle, which mediates intranucleosomal H3 dimerization and nucleosome integrity. Taken together, our findings suggest that CID nucleosomes are octameric in vivo and that CID dimerization is essential for correct centromere assembly.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Unique structural characteristics of centromere chromatin enable it to support assembly of the kinetochore and its associated tensions. The histone H3 variant CENH3 (centromeric histone H3) is viewed as the key element of centromere chromatin and its interaction with centromere DNA is epigenetic in that its localization to centromeres is not sequence-dependent. RESULTS: In order to investigate what influence the DNA sequence exerts on CENH3 chromatin structure, we examined CENH3 nucleosome footprints on maize centromere DNA. We found a predominant average nucleosome spacing pattern of roughly 190-bp intervals, which was also the dominant arrangement for nucleosomes genome-wide. For CENH3-containing nucleosomes, distinct modes of nucleosome positioning were evident within that general spacing constraint. Over arrays of the major ~156-bp centromeric satellite sequence (tandem repeat) CentC, nucleosomes were not positioned in register with CentC monomers but in conformity with a striking ~10-bp periodicity of AA/TT dimers within the sequence. In contrast, nucleosomes on a class of centromeric retrotransposon (CRM2) lacked a detectable AA/TT periodicity but exhibited tightly phased positioning. CONCLUSIONS: These data support a model in which general chromatin factors independent of both DNA sequence and CENH3 enforce roughly uniform centromeric nucleosome spacing while allowing flexibility in the mode in which nucleosomes are positioned. In the case of tandem repeat DNA, the natural bending effects related to AA/TT periodicity produce an energetically-favourable arrangement consistent with conformationally rigid nucleosomes and stable chromatin at centromeres.
Project description:Chromatin assembled with the histone H3 variant CENP-A is the heritable epigenetic determinant of human centromere identity. Using genome-wide mapping and reference models for 23 human centromeres, CENP-A binding sites are identified within the megabase-long, repetitive ?-satellite DNAs at each centromere. CENP-A is shown in early G1 to be assembled into nucleosomes within each centromere and onto 11,390 transcriptionally active sites on the chromosome arms. DNA replication is demonstrated to remove ectopically loaded, non-centromeric CENP-A. In contrast, tethering of centromeric CENP-A to the sites of DNA replication through the constitutive centromere associated network (CCAN) is shown to enable precise reloading of centromere-bound CENP-A onto the same DNA sequences as in its initial prereplication loading. Thus, DNA replication acts as an error correction mechanism for maintaining centromere identity through its removal of non-centromeric CENP-A coupled with CCAN-mediated retention and precise reloading of centromeric CENP-A.
Project description:The kinetochore is a crucial structure for faithful chromosome segregation during mitosis and is formed in the centromeric region of each chromosome. The 16-subunit protein complex known as the constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) forms the foundation for kinetochore assembly on the centromeric chromatin. Although the CCAN can be divided into several subcomplexes, it remains unclear how CCAN proteins are organized to form the functional kinetochore. In particular, this organization may vary as the cell cycle progresses. To address this, we analyzed the relationship of centromeric protein (CENP)-C with the CENP-H complex during progression of the cell cycle. We find that the middle portion of chicken CENP-C (CENP-C(166-324)) is sufficient for centromere localization during interphase, potentially through association with the CENP-L-N complex. The C-terminus of CENP-C (CENP-C(601-864)) is essential for centromere localization during mitosis, through binding to CENP-A nucleosomes, independent of the CENP-H complex. On the basis of these results, we propose that CCAN organization changes dynamically during progression of the cell cycle.
Project description:Chromosome segregation relies on coordinated activity of a large assembly of proteins, the kinetochore interaction network (KIN). How conserved the underlying mechanisms driving the epigenetic phenomenon of centromere and kinetochore assembly and maintenance are remains unclear, even though various eukaryotic models have been studied. More than 50 different proteins, many in multiple copies, comprise the KIN or are associated with fungal centromeres and kinetochores. Proteins isolated from immune sera recognized centromeric regions on chromosomes and thus were named centromere proteins (CENPs). CENP-A, sometimes called centromere-specific H3 (CenH3), is incorporated into nucleosomes within or near centromeres. The constitutive centromere-associated network (CCAN) assembles on this specialized chromatin, likely based on specific interactions with and requiring presence of CENP-C. The outer kinetochore comprises the Knl1-Mis12-Ndc80 (KMN) protein complexes that connect CCAN to spindles, accomplished by binding and stabilizing microtubules (MTs) and in the process generating load-bearing assemblies for chromatid segregation. In most fungi the Dam1/DASH complex connects the KMN complexes to MTs. Fungi present a rich resource to investigate mechanistic commonalities but also differences in kinetochore architecture. While ascomycetes have sets of CCAN and KMN proteins that are conserved with those of budding yeast or metazoans, searching other major branches of the fungal kingdom revealed that CCAN proteins are poorly conserved at the primary sequence level. Several conserved binding motifs or domains within KMN complexes have been described recently, and these features of ascomycete KIN proteins are shared with most metazoan proteins. In addition, several ascomycete-specific domains have been identified here.
Project description:Kinetochores are supramolecular assemblies that link centromeres to microtubules for sister chromatid segregation in mitosis. For this, the inner kinetochore CCAN/Ctf19 complex binds to centromeric chromatin containing the histone variant CENP-A, but whether the interaction of kinetochore components to centromeric nucleosomes is regulated by posttranslational modifications is unknown. Here, we investigated how methylation of arginine 37 (R37Me) and acetylation of lysine 49 (K49Ac) on the CENP-A homolog Cse4 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae regulate molecular interactions at the inner kinetochore. Importantly, we found that the Cse4 N-terminus binds with high affinity to the Ctf19 complex subassembly Okp1/Ame1 (CENP-Q/CENP-U in higher eukaryotes), and that this interaction is inhibited by R37Me and K49Ac modification on Cse4. In vivo defects in cse4-R37A were suppressed by mutations in OKP1 and AME1, and biochemical analysis of a mutant version of Okp1 showed increased affinity for Cse4. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the Okp1/Ame1 heterodimer is a reader module for posttranslational modifications on Cse4, thereby targeting the yeast CCAN complex to centromeric chromatin.
Project description:Overexpression of centromeric proteins has been identified in a number of human malignancies, but the functional and mechanistic contributions of these proteins to disease progression have not been characterized. The centromeric histone H3 variant centromere protein A (CENPA) is an epigenetic mark that determines centromere identity. Here, using an array of approaches, including RNA-sequencing and ChIP-sequencing analyses, immunohistochemistry-based tissue microarrays, and various cell biology assays, we demonstrate that CENPA is highly overexpressed in prostate cancer in both tissue and cell lines and that the level of CENPA expression correlates with the disease stage in a large cohort of patients. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments confirmed that CENPA promotes prostate cancer cell line growth. The results from the integrated sequencing experiments suggested a previously unidentified function of CENPA as a transcriptional regulator that modulates expression of critical proliferation, cell-cycle, and centromere/kinetochore genes. Taken together, our findings show that CENPA overexpression is crucial to prostate cancer growth.
Project description:Kinetochores assemble on distinct 'centrochromatin' containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A and interspersed nucleosomes dimethylated on H3K4 (H3K4me2). Little is known about how the chromatin environment at active centromeres governs centromeric structure and function. Here, we report that centrochromatin resembles K4-K36 domains found in the body of some actively transcribed housekeeping genes. By tethering the lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), we specifically depleted H3K4me2, a modification thought to have a role in transcriptional memory, from the kinetochore of a synthetic human artificial chromosome (HAC). H3K4me2 depletion caused kinetochores to suffer a rapid loss of transcription of the underlying ?-satellite DNA and to no longer efficiently recruit HJURP, the CENP-A chaperone. Kinetochores depleted of H3K4me2 remained functional in the short term, but were defective in incorporation of CENP-A, and were gradually inactivated. Our data provide a functional link between the centromeric chromatin, ?-satellite transcription, maintenance of CENP-A levels and kinetochore stability.