Dependence of Chromatosome Structure on Linker Histone Sequence and Posttranslational Modification.
ABSTRACT: Linker histone (LH) proteins play a key role in higher-order structuring of chromatin for the packing of DNA in eukaryotic cells and in the regulation of genomic function. The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) has a single somatic isoform of the LH (H1). It is thus a useful model organism for investigating the effects of the LH on nucleosome compaction and the structure of the chromatosome, the complex formed by binding of an LH to a nucleosome. The structural and mechanistic details of how LH proteins bind to nucleosomes are debated. Here, we apply Brownian dynamics simulations to compare the nucleosome binding of the globular domain of D. melanogaster H1 (gH1) and the corresponding chicken (Gallus gallus) LH isoform, gH5, to identify residues in the LH that critically affect the structure of the chromatosome. Moreover, we investigate the effects of posttranslational modifications on the gH1 binding mode. We find that certain single-point mutations and posttranslational modifications of the LH proteins can significantly affect chromatosome structure. These findings indicate that even subtle differences in LH sequence can significantly shift the chromatosome structural ensemble and thus have implications for chromatin structure and transcriptional regulation.
Project description:Nucleosome-remodelling factors containing the ATPase ISWI, such as ACF, render DNA in chromatin accessible by promoting the sliding of histone octamers. Although the ATP-dependent repositioning of mononucleosomes is readily observable in vitro, it is unclear to which extent nucleosomes can be moved in physiological chromatin, where neighbouring nucleosomes, linker histones and the folding of the nucleosomal array restrict mobility. We assembled arrays consisting of 12 nucleosomes or 12 chromatosomes (nucleosomes plus linker histone) from defined components and subjected them to remodelling by ACF or the ATPase CHD1. Both factors increased the access to DNA in nucleosome arrays. ACF, but not CHD1, catalysed profound movements of nucleosomes throughout the array, suggesting different remodelling mechanisms. Linker histones inhibited remodelling by CHD1. Surprisingly, ACF catalysed significant repositioning of entire chromatosomes in chromatin containing saturating levels of linker histone H1. H1 inhibited the ATP-dependent generation of DNA accessibility by only about 50%. This first demonstration of catalysed chromatosome movements suggests that the bulk of interphase euchromatin may be rendered dynamic by dedicated nucleosome-remodelling factors.
Project description:Linker histones play essential roles in the regulation and maintenance of the dynamic chromatin structure of higher eukaryotes. The influence of human histone H1.0 on the nucleosome structure and biophysical properties of the resulting chromatosome were investigated and compared with the 177-bp nucleosome using Cryo-EM and SAXS. The 4.5 Å Cryo-EM chromatosome structure showed that the linker histone binds at the nucleosome dyad interacting with both linker DNA arms but in a tilted manner leaning towards one of the linker sides. The chromatosome is laterally compacted and rigid in the dyad and linker DNA area, in comparison with the nucleosome where linker DNA region is more flexible and displays structural variability. In solution, the chromatosomes appear slightly larger than the nucleosomes, with the volume increase compared to the bound linker histone, according to solution SAXS measurements. SAXS X-ray diffraction characterisation of Mg-precipitated samples showed that the different shapes of the 177 chromatosome enabled the formation of a highly ordered lamello-columnar phase when precipitated by Mg<sup>2+</sup>, indicating the influence of linker histone on the nucleosome stacking. The biological significance of linker histone, therefore, may be affected by the change in the polyelectrolyte and DNA conformation properties of the chromatosomes, in comparison to nucleosomes.
Project description:Eukaryotic DNA is packaged into regularly spaced nucleosomes, resembling beads on a string. Each bead contains ∼147 bp wrapped around a core histone octamer. Linker histone (H1) binds to the linker DNA to drive chromatin folding. Micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion studies reveal 2 mono-nucleosomal intermediates: the core particle (∼147 bp) and the chromatosome (∼160 bp; a core particle with additional DNA protected by H1). We have recently developed an improved method for mapping nucleosomes, using exonuclease III to remove residual linker (MNase-Exo-seq). (1) We discovered 2 new intermediate particles corresponding to core particles with ∼7 bp of linker protruding from one side (∼154 bp) or both sides (∼161 bp), which are formed in the absence of H1. We propose that these "proto-chromatosomes" are stabilized by core histone-DNA contacts in the linker, ∼7 bp from the nucleosome boundaries. These contacts may determine the topography of the H1 binding site.
Project description:Human linker histones (H1s) are important in chromatin packaging and condensation. The central globular domain of H1 anchors the protein to the nucleosome. The nucleosomal binding modes of different H1 globular domains may affect nucleosomal DNA accessibility in distinct ways. The globular domain structures of human linker histones H1.0 (GH1.0), H1.4 (GH1.4), H1t (GH1t) and H1oo (GH1oo) were homology modelled and energy minimized. A docking algorithm [validated by re-docking GH5 from the GH5-chromatosome crystal structure (PDB: 4QLC) to the nucleosome] was used to dock the modelled domains to the same nucleosome template. In addition, GH1 (PDB: 1GHC) and a protein consisting of the N-terminal and globular domains of H1x (NGH1x) were also docked using this algorithm. Models of these docked structures are presented here in the form of PDB files. The models can be used to gain more insight with regards to the nucleosomal binding modes of H1s and their individual influence on chromatin compaction.
Project description:In an effort to understand the role of the linker histone in chromatin folding, its structure and location in the nucleosome has been studied by molecular modeling methods. The structure of the globular domain of the rat histone H1d, a highly conserved part of the linker histone, built by homology modeling methods, revealed a three-helical bundle fold that could be described as a helix-turn-helix variant with its characteristic properties of binding to DNA at the major groove. Using the information of its preferential binding to four-way Holliday junction (HJ) DNA, a model of the domain complexed to HJ was built, which was subsequently used to position the globular domain onto the nucleosome. The model revealed that the primary binding site of the domain interacts with the extra 20 bp of DNA of the entering duplex at the major groove while the secondary binding site interacts with the minor groove of the central gyre of the DNA superhelix of the nucleosomal core. The positioning of the globular domain served as an anchor to locate the C-terminal domain onto the nucleosome to obtain the structure of the chromatosome particle. The resulting structure had a stem-like appearance, resembling that observed by electron microscopic studies. The C-terminal domain which adopts a high mobility group (HMG)-box-like fold, has the ability to bend DNA, causing DNA condensation or compaction. It was observed that the three S/TPKK motifs in the C-terminal domain interact with the exiting duplex, thus defining the path of linker DNA in the chromatin fiber. This study has provided an insight into the probable individual roles of globular and the C-terminal domains of histone H1 in chromatin organization.
Project description:Linker histones are epigenetic regulators that bind to nucleosomes and alter chromatin structures and dynamics. Biophysical studies have revealed two binding modes in the linker histone/nucleosome complex, the chromatosome, where the linker histone is either centered on or askew from the dyad axis. Each has been posited to have distinct effects on chromatin, however the molecular and thermodynamic mechanisms that drive them and their dependence on linker histone compositions remain poorly understood. We present molecular dynamics simulations of chromatosomes with the globular domain of two linker histone variants, generic H1 (genGH1) and H1.0 (GH1.0), to determine how their differences influence chromatosome structures, energetics and dynamics. Results show that both unbound linker histones adopt a single compact conformation. Upon binding, DNA flexibility is reduced, resulting in increased chromatosome compaction. While both variants enthalpically favor on-dyad binding, energetic benefits are significantly higher for GH1.0, suggesting that GH1.0 is more capable than genGH1 of overcoming the large entropic reduction required for on-dyad binding which helps rationalize experiments that have consistently demonstrated GH1.0 in on-dyad states but that show genGH1 in both locations. These simulations highlight the thermodynamic basis for different linker histone binding motifs, and details their physical and chemical effects on chromatosomes.
Project description:Together with core histones, which make up the nucleosome, the linker histone (H1) is one of the five main histone protein families present in chromatin in eukaryotic cells. H1 binds to the nucleosome to form the next structural unit of metazoan chromatin, the chromatosome, which may help chromatin to fold into higher-order structures. Despite their important roles in regulating the structure and function of chromatin, linker histones have not been studied as extensively as core histones. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made recently. The first near-atomic resolution crystal structure of a chromatosome core particle and an 11 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy-derived structure of the 30 nm nucleosome array have been determined, revealing unprecedented details about how linker histones interact with the nucleosome and organize higher-order chromatin structures. Moreover, several new functions of linker histones have been discovered, including their roles in epigenetic regulation and the regulation of DNA replication, DNA repair and genome stability. Studies of the molecular mechanisms of H1 action in these processes suggest a new paradigm for linker histone function beyond its architectural roles in chromatin.
Project description:Despite the key role of the linker histone H1 in chromatin structure and dynamics, its location and interactions with nucleosomal DNA have not been elucidated. In this work we have used a combination of electron cryomicroscopy, hydroxyl radical footprinting, and nanoscale modeling to analyze the structure of precisely positioned mono-, di-, and trinucleosomes containing physiologically assembled full-length histone H1 or truncated mutants of this protein. Single-base resolution *OH footprinting shows that the globular domain of histone H1 (GH1) interacts with the DNA minor groove located at the center of the nucleosome and contacts a 10-bp region of DNA localized symmetrically with respect to the nucleosomal dyad. In addition, GH1 interacts with and organizes about one helical turn of DNA in each linker region of the nucleosome. We also find that a seven amino acid residue region (121-127) in the COOH terminus of histone H1 was required for the formation of the stem structure of the linker DNA. A molecular model on the basis of these data and coarse-grain DNA mechanics provides novel insights on how the different domains of H1 interact with the nucleosome and predicts a specific H1-mediated stem structure within linker DNA.
Project description:H1 linker histones stabilize the nucleosome, limit nucleosome mobility and facilitate the condensation of metazoan chromatin. Here, we have combined systematic mutagenesis, measurement of in vivo binding by photobleaching microscopy, and structural modeling to determine the binding geometry of the globular domain of the H1(0) linker histone variant within the nucleosome in unperturbed, native chromatin in vivo. We demonstrate the existence of two distinct DNA-binding sites within the globular domain that are formed by spatial clustering of multiple residues. The globular domain is positioned via interaction of one binding site with the major groove near the nucleosome dyad. The second site interacts with linker DNA adjacent to the nucleosome core. Multiple residues bind cooperatively to form a highly specific chromatosome structure that provides a mechanism by which individual domains of linker histones interact to facilitate chromatin condensation.
Project description:Eukaryotic chromosomal DNA is assembled into regularly spaced nucleosomes, which play a central role in gene regulation by determining accessibility of control regions. The nucleosome contains ?147 bp of DNA wrapped ?1.7 times around a central core histone octamer. The linker histone, H1, binds both to the nucleosome, sealing the DNA coils, and to the linker DNA between nucleosomes, directing chromatin folding. Micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digests the linker to yield the chromatosome, containing H1 and ?160 bp, and then converts it to a core particle, containing ?147 bp and no H1. Sequencing of nucleosomal DNA obtained after MNase digestion (MNase-seq) generates genome-wide nucleosome maps that are important for understanding gene regulation. We present an improved MNase-seq method involving simultaneous digestion with exonuclease III, which removes linker DNA. Remarkably, we discovered two novel intermediate particles containing 154 or 161 bp, corresponding to 7 bp protruding from one or both sides of the nucleosome core. These particles are detected in yeast lacking H1 and in H1-depleted mouse chromatin. They can be reconstituted in vitro using purified core histones and DNA. We propose that these 'proto-chromatosomes' are fundamental chromatin subunits, which include the H1 binding site and influence nucleosome spacing independently of H1.