Chromatin decondensation is sufficient to alter nuclear organization in embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Nuclear pore complexes have emerged in recent years as chromatin-binding nuclear scaffolds, able to influence target gene expression. However, how nucleoporins (Nups) exert this control remains poorly understood. Here we show that ectopically tethering Drosophila Nups, especially Sec13, to chromatin is sufficient to induce chromatin decondensation. This decondensation is mediated through chromatin-remodeling complex PBAP, as PBAP is both robustly recruited by Sec13 and required for Sec13-induced decondensation. This phenomenon is not correlated with localization of the target locus to the nuclear periphery, but is correlated with robust recruitment of Nup Elys. Furthermore, we identified a biochemical interaction between endogenous Sec13 and Elys with PBAP, and a role for endogenous Elys in global as well as gene-specific chromatin decompaction. Together, these findings reveal a functional role and mechanism for specific nuclear pore components in promoting an open chromatin state.
Project description:PP1 (protein phosphatase-1) is a serine/threonine phosphatase involved in mitosis exit and chromosome decondensation. In the present study, we characterize the subcellular and subnuclear localization of PNUTS (PP1 nuclear targeting subunit), a nuclear regulatory subunit of PP1, and report a stimulatory role of PNUTS in the decondensation of prometaphase chromosomes in two in vitro systems. In interphase, PNUTS co-fractionates, together with a fraction of nuclear PP1, primarily with micrococcal nuclease-soluble chromatin. Immunofluorescence analysis shows that PNUTS is targeted to the reforming nuclei in telophase following the assembly of nuclear membranes and concomitantly with chromatin decondensation. In interphase cytosolic extract, ATP-dependent decondensation of prometaphase chromosomes is blocked by PP1-specific inhibitors. In contrast, a recombinant PNUTS(309-691) fragment accelerates chromosome decondensation. This decondensation-promoting activity requires the consensus RVXF PP1-binding motif of PNUTS, whereas a secondary, inhibitory PP1-binding site is dispensable. In a defined buffer system, PNUTS(309-691) also elicits decondensation in an exogenous PP1-dependent manner and, as in the cytosolic extract, a W401A (Thr401-->Ala) mutation that destroys PP1 binding abolishes this activity. The results illustrate an involvement of the PNUTS:PP1 holoenzyme in chromosome decondensation in vitro and argue that PNUTS functions as a PP1-targeting subunit in this process. We hypothesize that targeting of PNUTS to reforming nuclei in telophase may be a part of a signalling event promoting chromatin decondensation as cells re-enter interphase.
Project description:Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF) is a DNA-bridging protein, highly conserved in metazoans. BAF binds directly to LEM (LAP2, emerin, MAN1) domain nuclear membrane proteins, including LAP2 and emerin. We used site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical analysis to map functionally important residues in human BAF, including those required for direct binding to DNA or emerin. We also tested wild-type BAF and 25 point mutants for their effects on nuclear assembly in Xenopus egg extracts, which contain approximately 12 microM endogenous BAF dimers. Exogenous BAF caused two distinct effects: at low added concentrations, wild-type BAF enhanced chromatin decondensation and nuclear growth; at higher added concentrations, wild-type BAF completely blocked chromatin decondensation and nuclear growth. Mutants fell into four classes, including one that defines a novel functional surface on the BAF dimer. Our results suggest that BAF, unregulated, potently compresses chromatin structure, and that BAF interactions with both DNA and LEM proteins are critical for membrane recruitment and chromatin decondensation during nuclear assembly.
Project description:Genome organization within the cell nucleus is a result of chromatin condensation achieved by histone tail-tail interactions and other nuclear proteins that counter the outward entropic pressure of the polymeric DNA. We probed the entropic swelling of chromatin driven by enzymatic disruption of these interactions in isolated mammalian cell nuclei. The large-scale decondensation of chromatin and the eventual rupture of the nuclear membrane and lamin network due to this entropic pressure were observed by fluorescence imaging. This swelling was accompanied by nuclear softening, an effect that we quantified by measuring the fluctuations of an optically trapped bead adhered onto the nucleus. We also measured the pressure at which the nuclear scaffold ruptured using an atomic force microscope cantilever. A simple theory based on a balance of forces in a swelling porous gel quantitatively explains the diffusive dynamics of swelling. Our experiments on decondensation of chromatin in nuclei suggest that its compaction is a critical parameter in controlling nuclear stability.
Project description:Loss of the nuclear RNA binding protein TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43) into cytoplasmic aggregates is the strongest correlate to neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration. The molecular changes associated with the loss of nuclear TDP-43 in human tissues are not entirely known. Using subcellular fractionation and fluorescent-activated cell sorting to enrich for diseased neuronal nuclei without TDP-43 from post-mortem frontotemporal degeneration-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS) human brain, we characterized the effects of TDP-43 loss on the transcriptome and chromatin accessibility. Nuclear TDP-43 loss is associated with gene expression changes that affect RNA processing, nucleocytoplasmic transport, histone processing, and DNA damage. Loss of nuclear TDP-43 is also associated with chromatin decondensation around long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) and increased LINE1 DNA content. Moreover, loss of TDP-43 leads to increased retrotransposition that can be inhibited with antiretroviral drugs, suggesting that TDP-43 neuropathology is associated with altered chromatin structure including decondensation of LINEs.
Project description: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:BACKGROUND:Distinct mechanical stimuli are known to manipulate the behaviors of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Fundamental rationale of how ESCs respond to mechanical forces and the potential biological effects remain elusive. Here we conducted the mechanobiological study for hESCs upon mechanomics analysis to unravel typical mechanosensitive processes on hESC-specific fluid shear. METHODS:hESC line H1 was subjected to systematically varied shear flow, and mechanosensitive proteins were obtained by mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. Then, function enrichment analysis was performed to identify the enriched gene sets. Under a steady shear flow of 1.1?Pa for 24?h, protein expressions were further detected using western blotting (WB), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and immunofluorescence (IF) staining. Meanwhile, the cells were treated with 200?nM trichostatin (TSA) for 1?h as positive control to test chromatin decondensation. Actin, DNA, and RNA were then visualized with TRITC-labeled phalloidin, Hoechst 33342, and SYTO® RNASelect™ green fluorescent cell stain (Life Technologies), respectively. In addition, cell stiffness was determined with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and annexin V-PE was used to determine the apoptosis with a flow cytometer (FCM). RESULTS:Typical mechanosensitive proteins were unraveled upon mechanomics analysis under fluid shear related to hESCs in vivo. Functional analyses revealed significant alterations in histone acetylation, nuclear size, and cytoskeleton for hESC under shear flow. Shear flow was able to induce H2B acetylation and nuclear spreading by CFL2/F-actin cytoskeletal reorganization. The resulting chromatin decondensation and a larger nucleus readily accommodate signaling molecules and transcription factors. CONCLUSIONS:Shear flow regulated chromatin dynamics in hESCs via cytoskeleton and nucleus alterations and consolidated their primed state.
Project description:Spermatozoon decondensation in the zygote leads to the initiation of chromatin remodeling during which protamines are removed and replaced with maternal histones. We hypothesize that damage to male germ cells induced by paternal exposure to cyclophosphamide may alter the timing of spermatozoal decondensation and the pattern of chromatin remodeling in the prepronuclear rat zygote. A specific order of sperm decondensation was observed, starting at the posterior end, proceeding to the ventral sides, followed by the tip, and finally the midbody region of the sperm head nucleus; subgroups of partially decondensed type a sperm nuclei were defined as types a1, a2, a3, and a4. Based on their frequencies relative to controls, paternal exposure to cyclophosphamide accelerated the timing of spermatozoal decondensation. Two distinct patterns of chromatin remodeling were observed for totally decondensed (type b) and recondensing (type c) sperm nuclei: H4K12ac showed a homogenous staining, whereas H3S10ph displayed a ring-like staining around the sperm nucleus; the distribution of these posttranslationally modified histones was not affected by cyclophosphamide exposure. In contrast, paternal cyclophosphamide treatment increased the number of gammaH2AX foci found in decondensing sperm nuclei. Small foci were significantly increased in type a2 and a3 nuclei, whereas a significant increase in the numbers of large foci was found in type b and c nuclei. This increase in gammaH2AX foci in the decondensing male genome suggests that damage recognition and repair pathways are initiated in prepronuclear rat zygotes. Thus, exposure of male rats to chronic low doses of cyclophosphamide accelerates spermatozoal decondensation and leads to the activation of gammaH2AX recognition of DNA damage in the male genome of the prepronuclear zygote.
Project description:Promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NBs)/nuclear domain 10s (ND10s) are nuclear structures that contain many transcriptional and chromatin regulatory factors. One of these, Sp100, is expressed from a single-copy gene and spliced into four isoforms (A, B, C, and HMG), which differentially regulate transcription. Here we evaluate Sp100 function in single cells using an inducible cytomegalovirus-promoter-regulated transgene, visualized as a chromatinized transcription site. Sp100A is the isoform most strongly recruited to the transgene array, and it significantly increases chromatin decondensation. However, Sp100A cannot overcome Daxx- and ?-thalassemia mental retardation, X-linked (ATRX)-mediated transcriptional repression, which indicates that PML-NB/ND10 factors function within a regulatory hierarchy. Sp100A increases and Sp100B, which contains a SAND domain, decreases acetyl-lysine regulatory factor levels at activated sites, suggesting that Sp100 isoforms differentially regulate transcription by modulating lysine acetylation. In contrast to Daxx, ATRX, and PML, Sp100 is recruited to activated arrays in cells expressing the herpes simplex virus type 1 E3 ubiquitin ligase, ICP0, which degrades all Sp100 isoforms except unsumoylated Sp100A. The recruitment Sp100A(K297R), which cannot be sumoylated, further suggests that sumoylation plays an important role in regulating Sp100 isoform levels at transcription sites. This study provides insight into the ways in which viruses may modulate Sp100 to promote their replication cycles.