Genomic characterization reveals a simple histone H4 acetylation code.
ABSTRACT: The histone code hypothesis holds that covalent posttranslational modifications of histone tails are interpreted by the cell to yield a rich combinatorial transcriptional output. This hypothesis has been the subject of active debate in the literature. Here, we investigated the combinatorial complexity of the acetylation code at the four lysine residues of the histone H4 tail in budding yeast. We constructed yeast strains carrying all 15 possible combinations of mutations among lysines 5, 8, 12, and 16 to arginine in the histone H4 tail, mimicking positively charged, unacetylated lysine states, and characterized the resulting genome-wide changes in gene expression by using DNA microarrays. Only the lysine 16 mutation had specific transcriptional consequences independent of the mutational state of the other lysines (affecting approximately 100 genes). In contrast, for lysines 5, 8, and 12, expression changes were due to nonspecific, cumulative effects seen as increased transcription correlating with an increase in the total number of mutations (affecting approximately 1,200 genes). Thus, acetylation of histone H4 is interpreted by two mechanisms: a specific mechanism for lysine 16 and a nonspecific, cumulative mechanism for lysines 5, 8, and 12.
Project description:Esa1, an essential MYST histone acetyltransferase found in the yeast piccolo NuA4 complex (picNuA4), is responsible for genome-wide histone H4 and histone H2A acetylation. picNuA4 uniquely catalyzes the rapid tetra-acetylation of nucleosomal H4, though the molecular determinants driving picNuA4 efficiency and specificity have not been defined. Here, we show through rapid substrate trapping experiments that picNuA4 utilizes a nonprocessive mechanism in which picNuA4 dissociates from the substrate after each acetylation event. Quantitative mass spectral analyses indicate that picNuA4 randomly acetylates free and nucleosomal H4, with a small preference for lysines 5, 8, and 12 over lysine 16. Using a series of 24 histone mutants of H4 and H2A, we investigated the parameters affecting catalytic efficiency. Most strikingly, removal of lysine residues did not substantially affect the ability of picNuA4 to acetylate remaining sites, and insertion of an additional lysine into the H4 tail led to rapid quintuple acetylation. Conversion of the native H2A tail to an H4-like sequence resulted in enhanced multisite acetylation. Collectively, the results suggest picNuA4's site selectivity is dictated by accessibility on the nucleosome surface, the relative proximity from the histone fold domain, and a preference for intervening glycine residues with a minimal (n + 2) spacing between lysines. Functionally distinct from other HAT families, the proposed model for picNuA4 represents a unique mechanism of substrate recognition and multisite acetylation.
Project description:Signaling associated with transcription activation occurs through posttranslational modification of histones and is best exemplified by lysine acetylation. Lysines are acetylated in histone tails and the core domain/lateral surface of histone octamers. While acetylated lysines in histone tails are frequently recognized by other factors referred to as "readers," which promote transcription, the mechanistic role of the modifications in the lateral surface of the histone octamer remains unclear. By using X-ray crystallography, we found that acetylated lysines 115 and 122 in histone H3 are solvent accessible, but in biochemical assays they appear not to interact with the bromodomains of SWI/SNF and RSC to enhance recruitment or nucleosome mobilization, as previously shown for acetylated lysines in H3 histone tails. Instead, we found that acetylation of lysines 115 and 122 increases the predisposition of nucleosomes for disassembly by SWI/SNF and RSC up to 7-fold, independent of bromodomains, and only in conjunction with contiguous nucleosomes. Thus, in combination with SWI/SNF and RSC, acetylation of lateral surface lysines in the histone octamer serves as a crucial regulator of nucleosomal dynamics distinct from the histone code readers and writers.
Project description:Heterochromatin formation in yeast involves deacetylation of histones, but the precise relationship between acetylation and the association of proteins such as Sir3, Sir4, and the histone deacetylase Sir2 with chromatin is still unclear. Here we show that Sir3 protein spreads to subtelomeric DNA in cells lacking the transcription-related histone acetyltransferases GCN5 and ELP3. Spreading correlates with hypoacetylation of lysines in the histone H3 tail and results in deacetylation of lysine 16 in histone H4. De-repression of genes situated very close to the ends of the chromosomes in gcn5 elp3 suggests that Sir3 spreads into subtelomeric DNA from the tip of the telomere. Interestingly, growth defects caused by gcn5 elp3 mutation can be suppressed by SIR deletion, suggesting that Sir proteins become detrimental for growth when chromatin is severely hypoacetylated.
Project description:DNA methylation is deficient in a histone deacetylase 1 (HDA1) mutant (hda-1) strain of Neurospora crassa with inactivated histone deacetylase 1. Difference two-dimensional (2D) gels identified the primary histone deacetylase 1 target as histone H2B. Acetylation was identified by LC-MS/MS at five different lysines in wild-type H2B and at 11 lysines in hda-1 H2B, suggesting Neurospora H2B is a complex combination of different acetylated species. Individual 2D gel spots were shifted by single lysine acetylations. FTICR MS-observed methylation ladders identify an ensemble of 20-25 or more modified forms for each 2D gel spot. Twelve different lysines or arginines were methylated in H2B from the wild type or hda-1; only two were in the N-terminal tail. Arginines were modified by monomethylation, dimethylation, or deimination. H2B from wild-type and hda-1 ensembles may thus differ by acetylation at multiple sites, and by additional modifications. Combined with asymmetry-generated diversity in H2B structural states in nucleosome core particles, the extensive modifications identified here can create substantial histone-generated structural diversity in nucleosome core particles.
Project description:Posttranslational modification of histones regulates transcription but the exact role that acetylation of specific lysine residues plays in biological processes in vivo is still not clearly understood. To assess the contribution of different histone modifications to transcriptional activation in vivo, we determined the acetylation patterns on the ecdysone induced Eip74EF and Eip75B genes in Drosophila melanogaster larvae by chromatin immunoprecipitation. We found that acetylation of histone H3 lysine 23 is localized to promoters and correlates with endogenous ecdysone induced gene activation. In contrast, acetylation of lysines 8, 12 and 16 of histone H4 and lysine 9 of histone H3 showed minor differences in their distribution on the regulatory and transcribed regions tested, and had limited or no correlation with ecdysone induced transcriptional activity. We found that dCBP, which is encoded by the nejire gene, acetylates H3 lysine 23 in vivo, and silencing of nejire leads to reduced expression of the Eip74EF and Eip75B genes. Our results suggest that acetylation of specific lysine residues of histones contribute specifically to the dynamic regulation of transcription. Furthermore, along with previous studies identify CBP dependent H3 lysine 23 acetylation as an evolutionarily conserved chromatin modification involved in steroid induced gene activation.
Project description:The pattern of histone H4 acetylation in different genomic regions has been investigated by immunoprecipitating oligonucleosomes from a human lymphoblastoid cell line with antibodies to H4 acetylated at lysines 5, 8, 12 or 16. DNA from antibody-bound or unbound chromatin was assayed by slot blotting. Pol I and pol II transcribed genes located in euchromatin were shown to have levels of H4 acetylation at lysines 5, 8 and 12 equivalent to those in input chromatin, but to be slightly enriched in H4 acetylated at lysine 16. In no case did the acetylation level correlate with actual or potential transcriptional activity. All acetylated histone H4 isoforms were depleted in non-coding, simple repeat DNA in heterochromatin, though the extent of depletion varied with the type of heterochromatin and with the isoform. Two single copy genes that map within or adjacent to blocks of paracentric heterochromatin are depleted in H4 acetylated at lysines 5, 8 and 12, but not 16. Consensus sequences of repetitive elements of the Alu family (SINES, enriched in R bands) were associated with H4 that was more highly acetylated at all four lysines than input chromatin, while H4 associated with Kpn I elements (LINES, enriched in G bands) was significantly underacetylated.
Project description:Histone-lysine acetylation is a vital chromatin post-translational modification involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. Bromodomains bind acetylated lysines, acting as readers of the histone-acetylation code. Competitive inhibitors of this interaction have antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory properties. With 57 distinct bromodomains known, the discovery of subtype-selective inhibitors of the histone-bromodomain interaction is of great importance. We have identified the 3,5-dimethylisoxazole moiety as a novel acetyl-lysine bioisostere, which displaces acetylated histone-mimicking peptides from bromodomains. Using X-ray crystallographic analysis, we have determined the interactions responsible for the activity and selectivity of 4-substituted 3,5-dimethylisoxazoles against a selection of phylogenetically diverse bromodomains. By exploiting these interactions, we have developed compound 4d, which has IC(50) values of <5 ?M for the bromodomain-containing proteins BRD2(1) and BRD4(1). These compounds are promising leads for the further development of selective probes for the bromodomain and extra C-terminal domain (BET) family and CREBBP bromodomains.
Project description:The acetylation of specific lysine residues in the histone H4 may play a role in regulating various genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae [Grunstein (1990) Annu. Rev. Cell Biol. 6, 643-678]. The detailed consideration of this possibility has been hampered by the lack of information on the frequency with which different H4 lysine residues are acetylated in yeast. In this paper, we use Western blotting from acid/urea/Triton gels and immunostaining with antisera specific for H4 molecules acetylated at particular lysine residues to show that 70-80% of H4 molecules in S. cerevisiae contain one or more acetylated lysines, and that lysines-5, -8, -12 and -16 are acetylated in an ordered, non-random fashion. The monoacetylated isoform (H4Ac1) is acetylated predominantly at lysine-16 (rarely at lysine-12), H4Ac2 is acetylated at lysine-16 and at either lysine-12 or at -8, while lysine-5 is acetylated frequently only in H4Ac3 and in H4Ac4.
Project description:Histone H4 undergoes extensive post-translational modifications (PTMs) at its N-terminal tail. Many of these PTMs profoundly affect the on and off status of gene transcription. The molecular mechanism by which histone PTMs modulate genetic and epigenetic processes is not fully understood. In particular, how a PTM mark affects the presence and level of other histone modification marks needs to be addressed and is essential for better understanding the molecular basis of histone code hypothesis. To dissect the interplaying relationship between different histone modification marks, we investigated how individual lysine acetylations and their different combinations at the H4 tail affect Arg-3 methylation in cis. Our data reveal that the effect of lysine acetylation on arginine methylation depends on the site of acetylation and the type of methylation. Although certain acetylations present a repressive impact on PRMT1-mediated methylation (type I methylation), lysine acetylation generally is correlated with enhanced methylation by PRMT5 (type II dimethylation). In particular, Lys-5 acetylation decreases the activity of PRMT1 but increases that of PRMT5. Furthermore, circular dichroism study and computer simulation demonstrate that hyperacetylation increases the content of ordered secondary structures at the H4 tail region. These findings provide new insights into the regulatory mechanism of Arg-3 methylation by H4 acetylation and unravel the complex intercommunications that exist between different the PTM marks in cis. The divergent activities of PRMT1 and PRMT5 with respect to different acetyl-H4 substrates suggest that type I and type II protein-arginine methyltransferases use distinct molecular determinants for substrate recognition and catalysis.
Project description:Telomeric position effect in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a chromatin-mediated phenomenon in which telomere proximal genes are repressed (silenced) in a heritable, but reversible, fashion. Once a transcriptional state (active or silenced) is established, however, there is a strong tendency for that state to be propagated. Twenty-five years ago, H. Weintraub and colleagues suggested that such heritability could be mediated by posttranslational modification of chromatin [Weintraub, H., Flint, S. J., Leffak, I. M., Groudine, M. & Grainger, R. M. (1977) Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 42, 401-407]. To identify potential sites within the chromatin that might act as sources of "memory" for the heritable transmission, we performed a genetic screen to isolate mutant alleles of the histones H3 and H4 genes that would "lock" telomeric marker genes into a silenced state. We identified mutations in the NH(2)-terminal tail and core of both histones; most of the amino acid changes mapped adjacent to lysines that are known sites of acetylation or methylation. We developed a method using MS to quantify the level of acetylation at each lysine within the histone H4 NH(2)-terminal tail in these mutants. We discovered that each of these mutants had a dramatic reduction in the level of acetylation at lysine 12 within the histone H4 tail. We propose that this lysine serves as a "memory mark" for propagating the expression state of a telomeric gene: when it is unacetylated, silent chromatin will be inherited; when it is acetylated an active state will be inherited.