Nucleoplasmin regulates chromatin condensation during apoptosis.
ABSTRACT: Although chromatin condensation is one of the hallmarks of apoptosis, its relationship with DNA fragmentation has been controversial. We show here that apoptotic chromatin condensation is regulated by nucleoplasmin, a protein that decondenses sperm chromatin during male pronuclear assembly. In Xenopus egg extracts, nucleoplasmin is tyrosine-dephosphorylated during apoptosis. This dephosphorylation inactivates the chromatin decondensation activity of nucleoplasmin and leads to its exclusion from the chromatin. Inhibition of tyrosine dephosphorylation prevents apoptotic chromatin condensation but not DNA fragmentation. Studies with mutant proteins indicate that dephosphorylation of nucleoplasmin at Tyr-124 regulates chromatin condensation through changes in the interaction of nucleoplasmin with chromatin and the loss of its chromatin decondensation activity. These results show that chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation are independent processes.
Project description:Template activating factor I (TAF-I) was originally identified as a host factor required for DNA replication and transcription of adenovirus genome complexed with viral basic proteins. Purified TAF-I was shown to bind to core histones and stimulate transcription from nucleosomal templates. Human TAF-I consists of two acidic proteins, TAF-Ialpha and TAF-Ibeta, which differ from each other only in their amino-terminal regions. Here, we report that TAF-I decondenses demembraned Xenopus sperm chromatin. Human TAF-Ibeta has a chromatin decondensation activity comparable to that of NAP-I, another histone binding protein, whereas TAF-Ialpha has only a weak activity. Analysis of molecular mechanisms underlying the chromatin decondensation by TAF-I revealed that TAF-I interacts directly with sperm basic proteins. Deletion of the TAF-I carboxyl-terminal acidic region abolishes the decondensation activity. Interestingly, the acidic region itself is not sufficient for decondensation, since an amino acid substitution mutant in the dimerization domain of TAF-I which has the intact acidic region does not support chromatin decondensation. We detected the beta form of TAF-I in Xenopus oocytes and eggs by immunoblotting, and the cloning of its cDNA led us to conclude that Xenopus TAF-Ibeta also decondenses sperm chromatin. These results suggest that TAF-I plays a role in remodeling higher-order chromatin structure as well as nucleosomal structure through direct interaction with chromatin basic proteins.
Project description:Nucleoplasmin (NP) is a pentameric chaperone that regulates the condensation state of chromatin extracting specific basic proteins from sperm chromatin and depositing H2A-H2B histone dimers. It has been proposed that histones could bind to either the lateral or distal face of the pentameric structure. Here, we combine different biochemical and biophysical techniques to show that natural, hyperphosphorylated NP can bind five H2A-H2B dimers and that the amount of bound ligand depends on the overall charge (phosphorylation level) of the chaperone. Three-dimensional reconstruction of NP/H2A-H2B complex carried out by electron microscopy reveals that histones interact with the chaperone distal face. Limited proteolysis and mass spectrometry indicate that the interaction results in protection of the histone fold and most of the H2A and H2B C-terminal tails. This structural information can help to understand the function of NP as a histone chaperone.
Project description:After mitosis, nuclear reorganization occurs together with decondensation of mitotic chromosomes and reformation of the nuclear envelope, thereby restoring the Ran-GTP gradient between the nucleus and cytoplasm. The Ran-GTP gradient is dependent on Pim1/RCC1. Interestingly, a defect in Pim1/RCC1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe causes postmitotic condensation of chromatin, namely hypercondensation, suggesting a relationship between the Ran-GTP gradient and chromosome decondensation. However, how Ran-GTP interacts with chromosome decondensation is unresolved. To examine this interaction, we used Schizosaccharomyces japonicus, which is known to undergo partial breakdown of the nuclear membrane during mitosis. We found that Pim1/RCC1 was localized on nuclear pores, but this localization failed in a temperature-sensitive mutant of Pim1/RCC1. The mutant cells exhibited hypercondensed chromatin after mitosis due to prolonged association of condensin on the chromosomes. Conceivably, a condensin-dephosphorylation defect might cause hypercondensed chromatin, since chromosomal localization of condensin is dependent on phosphorylation by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK). Indeed, CDK-phospho-mimic mutation of condensin alone caused untimely condensin localization, resulting in hypercondensed chromatin. Together, these results suggest that dephosphorylation of CDK sites of condensin might require the Ran-GTP gradient produced by nuclear pore-localized Pim1/RCC1.
Project description:The basic and intrinsically disordered C-terminal domain (CTD) of the linker histone (LH) is essential for chromatin compaction. However, its conformation upon nucleosome binding and its impact on chromatin organization remain unknown. Our mesoscale chromatin model with a flexible LH CTD captures a dynamic, salt-dependent condensation mechanism driven by charge neutralization between the LH and linker DNA. Namely, at low salt concentration, CTD condenses, but LH only interacts with the nucleosome and one linker DNA, resulting in a semi-open nucleosome configuration; at higher salt, LH interacts with the nucleosome and two linker DNAs, promoting stem formation and chromatin compaction. CTD charge reduction unfolds the domain and decondenses chromatin, a mechanism in consonance with reduced counterion screening in vitro and phosphorylated LH in vivo. Divalent ions counteract this decondensation effect by maintaining nucleosome stems and expelling the CTDs to the fiber exterior. Additionally, we explain that the CTD folding depends on the chromatin fiber size, and we show that the asymmetric structure of the LH globular head is responsible for the uneven interaction observed between the LH and the linker DNAs. All these mechanisms may impact epigenetic regulation and higher levels of chromatin folding.
Project description:Nucleoplasmin is a histone chaperone that consists of a pentameric N-terminal domain and an unstructured C-terminal tail. The pentameric core domain, a doughnut-like structure with a central pore, is only found in the nucleoplasmin family. Here, we report the first structure of a nucleoplasmin-like domain (NPL) from the unrelated Drosophila protein, FKBP39, and we present evidence that this protein associates with chromatin. Furthermore, we show that two other chromatin proteins, Arabidopsis thaliana histone deacetylase type 2 (HD2) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Fpr4, share the NPL fold and form pentamers, or a dimer of pentamers in the case of HD2. Thus, we propose a new family of proteins that share the pentameric nucleoplasmin-like NPL domain and are found in protists, fungi, plants and animals.
Project description:During differentiation, thousands of genes are repositioned toward or away from the nuclear envelope. These movements correlate with changes in transcription and replication timing. Using synthetic (TALE) transcription factors, we found that transcriptional activation of endogenous genes by a viral trans-activator is sufficient to induce gene repositioning toward the nuclear interior in embryonic stem cells. However, gene relocation was also induced by recruitment of an acidic peptide that decondenses chromatin without affecting transcription, indicating that nuclear reorganization is driven by chromatin remodeling rather than transcription. We identified an epigenetic inheritance of chromatin decondensation that maintained central nuclear positioning through mitosis even after the TALE transcription factor was lost. Our results also demonstrate that transcriptional activation, but not chromatin decondensation, is sufficient to change replication timing.
Project description:In the current study, for the first time, we found that metastasis-associated gene 1 (MTA1) was a higher-order chromatin structure organizer that decondenses the interphase chromatin and mitotic chromosomes. MTA1 interacts dynamically with nucleosomes during the cell cycle progression, prominently contributing to the mitotic chromatin/chromosome structure transitions at both prophase and telophase. We showed that the decondensation of interphase chromatin by MTA1 was independent of Mi-2 chromatin remodeling activity. H1 was reported to stabilize the compact higher-order chromatin structure through its interaction with DNA. Our data showed that MTA1 caused a reduced H1-chromatin interaction in-vivo. Moreover, the dynamic MTA1-chromatin interaction in the cell cycle contributed to the periodical H1-chromatin interaction, which in turn modulated chromatin/chromosome transitions. Although MTA1 drove a global decondensation of chromatin structure, it changed the expression of only a small proportion of genes. After MTA1 overexpression, the up-regulated genes were distributed in clusters along with down-regulated genes on chromosomes at parallel frequencies.
Project description:Nucleoplasmin (NP) is a pentameric histone chaperone that regulates the condensation state of chromatin in different cellular processes. We focus here on the interaction of NP with the histone octamer, showing that NP could bind sequentially the histone components to assemble an octamer-like particle, and crosslinked octamers with high affinity. The three-dimensional reconstruction of the NP/octamer complex generated by single-particle cryoelectron microscopy, revealed that several intrinsically disordered tail domains of two NP pentamers, facing each other through their distal face, encage the histone octamer in a nucleosome-like conformation and prevent its dissociation. Formation of this complex depended on post-translational modification and exposure of the acidic tract at the tail domain of NP. Finally, NP was capable of transferring the histone octamers to DNA in vitro, assembling nucleosomes. This activity may have biological relevance for processes in which the histone octamer must be rapidly removed from or deposited onto the DNA.
Project description:The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) is a conserved, essential regulator of cell division. As such, significant anti-cancer drug development efforts have been focused on targeting it, most notably by inhibiting its AURKB kinase subunit. The CPC is activated by AURKB-catalyzed autophosphorylation on multiple subunits, but how this regulates CPC interactions with other mitotic proteins remains unclear. We investigated the hydrodynamic behavior of the CPC in Xenopus laevis egg cytosol using sucrose gradient sedimentation and in HeLa cells using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. We found that autophosphorylation of the CPC decreases its sedimentation coefficient in egg cytosol and increases its diffusion coefficient in live cells, indicating a decrease in mass. Using immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry and immunoblots, we discovered that inactive, unphosphorylated CPC interacts with nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin proteins, which are known to oligomerize into pentamers and decamers. Autophosphorylation of the CPC causes it to dissociate from nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin. We propose that nucleophosmin/nucleoplasmin complexes serve as chaperones that negatively regulate the CPC and/or stabilize its inactive form, preventing CPC autophosphorylation and recruitment to chromatin and microtubules in mitosis.
Project description:Histone proteins carry information contained in post-translational modifications. Eukaryotic cells utilize this histone code to regulate the usage of the underlying DNA. In the maturing oocytes and eggs of the frog Xenopus laevis, histones are synthesized in bulk in preparation for deposition during the rapid early developmental cell cycles. During this key developmental time frame, embryonic pluripotent chromatin is established. In the egg, non-chromatin-bound histones are complexed with storage chaperone proteins, including nucleoplasmin. Here we describe the identification and characterization of a complex of the protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (Prmt5) and the methylosome protein 50 (Mep50) isolated from Xenopus eggs that specifically methylates predeposition histones H2A/H2A.X-F and H4 and the histone chaperone nucleoplasmin on a conserved motif (GRGXK). We demonstrate that nucleoplasmin (Npm), an exceedingly abundant maternally deposited protein, is a potent substrate for Prmt5-Mep50 and is monomethylated and symmetrically dimethylated at Arg-187. Furthermore, Npm modulates Prmt5-Mep50 activity directed toward histones, consistent with a regulatory role for Npm in vivo. We show that H2A and nucleoplasmin methylation appears late in oogenesis and is most abundant in the laid egg. We hypothesize that these very abundant arginine methylations are constrained to pre-mid blastula transition events in the embryo and therefore may be involved in the global transcriptional repression found in this developmental time frame.