ABSTRACT: In most eukaryotes, the centromere is epigenetically defined by nucleosomes that contain the histone H3 variant centromere protein A (CENP-A). Specific targeting of the CENP-A-loading chaperone to the centromere is vital for stable centromere propagation; however, the existence of ectopic centromeres (neocentromeres) indicates that this chaperone can function in different chromatin environments. The mechanism responsible for accommodating the CENP-A chaperone at novel chromatin regions is poorly understood. Here, we report the identification of transient, immature neocentromeres in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which show reduced association with the CENP-A chaperone Scm3 attributable to persistence of the histone H2A variant H2A.Z. Following acquisition of adjacent heterochromatin or relocation of the immature neocentromeres to subtelomeric regions, H2A.Z was depleted and Scm3 was replenished, leading to subsequent stabilization of the neocentromeres. These findings provide novel insights into histone variant-mediated epigenetic control of neocentromere establishment. Overall design: Comparison of chromosomal distributions of centromeric proteins and heterochromatin proteins between the NC survivors and their derivatives.
Project description:In most eukaryotes, the centromere is epigenetically defined by nucleosomes that contain the histone H3 variant centromere protein A (CENP-A). Specific targeting of the CENP-A-loading chaperone to the centromere is vital for stable centromere propagation; however, the existence of ectopic centromeres (neocentromeres) indicates that this chaperone can function in different chromatin environments. The mechanism responsible for accommodating the CENP-A chaperone at novel chromatin regions is poorly understood. Here, we report the identification of transient, immature neocentromeres in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which show reduced association with the CENP-A chaperone Scm3 attributable to persistence of the histone H2A variant H2A.Z. Following acquisition of adjacent heterochromatin or relocation of the immature neocentromeres to subtelomeric regions, H2A.Z was depleted and Scm3 was replenished, leading to subsequent stabilization of the neocentromeres. These findings provide novel insights into histone variant-mediated epigenetic control of neocentromere establishment. Comparison of chromosomal distributions of centromeric proteins and heterochromatin proteins between the NC survivors and their derivatives.
Project description:At Schizosaccharomyces pombe centromeres, heterochromatin formation is required for de novo incorporation of the histone H3 variant CENP-A/Cnp1, which in turn directs kinetochore assembly and ultimately chromosome segregation during mitosis. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) transcribed by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) directs heterochromatin formation via the RNAi machinery, but also through RNAiindependent RNA processing factors. Control of centromeric ncRNA transcription is therefore a key factor for proper centromere function. We here use transcriptional profiling, gene inactivation experiments, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses to demonstrate that the Mediator complex directs ncRNA transcription and regulates centromeric heterochromatin formation in fission yeast. Mediator co-localizes with Pol II at centromeres and loss of the Mediator subunit Med20 causes a dramatic increase in pericentromeric transcription and desilencing of the core centromere. As a consequence, heterochromatin formation is impaired both via the RNAi dependent and independent pathways, resulting in loss of CENP-A/Cnp1 from the core centromere, defect kinetochore function, and a severe chromosome segregation defect. Interestingly, the increased centromeric transcription observed in med20Δ appears to directly block CENP-A/Cnp1 incorporation and inhibition of Pol II transcription can suppress the observed phenotypes. Our data thus identify Mediator as a crucial regulator of ncRNA transcription at fission yeast centromeres and add another crucial layer of regulation to centromere function. 3 samples examined: wild type chromatin incubated with beads as the non antibody control, wild type chromatin incubated with RNA Polymerase II CTD domain antibody and Protein G beads, and TAP-Med7 cells chromatin incubated with IgG beads.
Project description:We use high-resolution chemical cleavage mapping and both native and cross-linked chromatin immunoprecipitation with paired-end sequencing to elucidate the profile of nuceleosomes containing the centromere-specific variant of H3 (cenH3), known as CENP-A or Cnp1 in fission yeast. We find that in the central domain of fission yeast centromeres H3 nucleosomes are nearly absent and CENP-A nucleosomes are more widely spaced that nucleosomes elsewere. CENP-A (Cnp1), CENP-C (Cnp3), CENP-T (Cnp20) and CENP-I (Mis6) are highly enriched at every position in the central domain except at tRNA genes, with weak enrichment in the flanking heterochromatin where these proteins show no evidence of the positioning that has been seen in point centromeres and in the satellite-rich centromeres of plants and animals. Our findings suggest that classical regional centromeres are distinguished from other centromere classes by the absence of cenH3 nucleosome positioning. Overall design: We have analyzed the chromatin landscape of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe genome using paired-end ChIP-seq and MNase-seq (chemical cleavage)
Project description:The centromere specific histone H3 variant CENP-A/CENH3 specifies where the kinetochore is formed in most eukaryotes. Despite tight regulation of CENP-A levels in normal cells, overexpression of CENP-A is a feature shared by various types of solid tumors and results in its mislocalization to non-centromeric DNA. How CENP-A is assembled ectopically and the consequences of this mislocalization remain topics of high interest. Here, we report that in human colon cancer cells, the H3.3 chaperones HIRA and DAXX promote ectopic CENP-A deposition. Moreover, the correct balance between levels of the centromeric chaperone HJURP and CENP-A is essential to preclude ectopic assembly by H3.3 chaperones. In addition, we find that ectopic localization can recruit kinetochore components, and correlates with mitotic defects and DNA damage in G1 phase. Finally, CENP-A occupancy at the 8q24 locus is also correlated with amplification and overexpression of the MYC gene within that locus. Overall, these data provide insights into the causes and consequences of histone variant mislocalization in human cancer cells. Overall design: CENP-A ChIP-Seq in SW480 cells
Project description:CENP-A is a centromere-specific histone 3 variant essential for centromere specification. CENP-A partially replaces canonical histone H3 at the centromeres. How the particular CENP-A/H3 ratio at centromeres is precisely maintained is unknown. It also remains unclear how CENP-A is excluded from non-centromeric chromatin. Here we identify Ccp1, an uncharacterized NAP family protein in fission yeast that antagonizes CENP-A loading at both centromeric and non-centromeric regions. Like the CENP-A loading factor HJURP, Ccp1 interacts with CENP-A, and is recruited to centromeres at the end of mitosis in a Mis16-dependent manner. These data indicate that factors with opposing CENP-A loading activities are recruited to centromeres. Furthermore, Ccp1 also cooperates with H2A.Z to evict CENP-A assembled in euchromatin. Structural analyses indicate that Ccp1 forms a homodimer that is required for its anti-CENP-A loading activity. Our study establishes mechanisms for maintenance of CENP-A homeostasis at centromeres and the prevention of ectopic assembly of centromeres. Examination of cnp1 distribution in one wild type (wt) and two ccp1 mutants.
Project description:A key element for defining the centromere identity is the incorporation of a specific histone H3, CENP-A, known as Cnp1p in S. pombe. Previous studies have suggested that functional S. pombe centromeres lack nucleosome arrays 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 proteins cnp1, mis18, mis12, nuf2, mal2, overexpression of Cnp1p, or deletion of ams2. Bioinformatic analysis of the centromere sequence indicates certain enriched motifs in linker regions between nucleosomes and reveals a sequence-bias in nucleosome positioning. We conclude that centromeric nucleosome positions are stable and may be derived from the underlying DNA sequence. In addition, sequence analysis of nucleosome-free regions identifies novel binding sites for the GATA-like protein Ams2p, which participates in CENP-A incorporation. Keywords: Nucleosome Mapping Study Overall design: Entire cnt regions and histone-related genes were tiled at 1-5 bp spacing using 60-mer probes.
Project description:Centromere is the chromosomal locus at which kinetochore is assembled to direct chromosome segregation. Histone H3 variant CENP-A epigenetically marks active centromeres; however, the mechanism by which CENP-A propagates at the centromere, replacing histone H3, remains poorly understood. Using fission yeast, we find that CENP-ACnp1 chromatin assembly at the centromere requires the Ino80 ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex which removes histone H3-containing nucleosomes from associated chromatin. CENP-ACnp1 chromatin actively recruits the Ino80 complex to centromeres to elicit eviction of histone H3-containing nucleosomes. Artificial targeting of Ino80 subunits to a non-centromeric DNA placed in a native centromere enhances the spreading of CENP-ACnp1 chromatin into the non-centromeric DNA. Based on these results, we propose that CENP-ACnp1 chromatin employs the Ino80 complex to mediate replacement of histone H3 with CENP-ACnp1, and thereby reinforces itself. Overall design: ChIP-Seq samples of CENP-ACnp1, histone H3, Flag-tagged Ino80 subunits in wild type (wt) and various mutants were prepared using fission yeast.
Project description:CENP-A is the histone H3 variant necessary to specify the location of all eukaryoticcentromeres via its CENP-A targeting domain and either one of its terminal regions. In humans, several post-translational modifications occur on CENP-A, but their role in centromere function remains controversial. One of these modifications of CENP-A, phosphorylation on serine 7,has been proposed to control centromere assembly and function. Here, using gene targeting at both endogenous CENP-A alleles and gene replacement in human cells, we demonstrate that a CENP-A variant that cannot be phosphorylated at serine 7 maintains correct CENP-C recruitment, faithful chromosome segregation and long-term cell viability. Thus, we conclude that phosphorylation of CENP-A on serine 7 is dispensable to maintain correct centromere dynamics and function.
Project description:The centromere-specific Histone H3-variant CENH3 (also known as CENP-A) is considered to be an epigenetic mark for establishment and propagation of centromere identity. Pulse-induction of CENH3 (Drosophila CID) in Schneider S2 cells incorporates into noncentromeric regions and generates CID islands that resist clearing from chromosome arms for multiple cell generations. We demonstrate that CID islands represent functional ectopic kinetochores, which are non-randomly distributed on the chromosome and display a preferential localization near telomeres and pericentric heterochromatin in transcriptionally silent, intergenic chromatin domains. Although overexpression of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) or increasing Histone acetylation interferes with CID islands formation on a global scale, induction of a locally defined region of synthetic heterochromatin by targeting HP1-LacI fusions to stably integrated Lac Operator arrays produces a proximal hotspot for CID islands formation. These data suggest that the characteristics of regions bordering heterochromatin promote de novo kinetochore assembly and thereby contribute to centromere identity.
Project description:We employ the well-studied fission yeast centromere to investigate the function of the CENP-A (Cnp1) N-tail. We show that alteration of the N-tail did not affect Cnp1 loading at centromeres, outer kinetochore formation, or spindle checkpoint signaling, but nevertheless elevated chromosome loss. N-Tail mutants exhibited synthetic lethality with an altered centromeric DNA sequence, with rare survivors harboring chromosomal fusions in which the altered centromere was epigenetically inactivated. Elevated centromere inactivation was also observed for N-tail mutants with unaltered centromeric DNA sequences. N-tail mutants specifically reduced localization of the CCAN proteins Cnp20/CENP-T and Mis6/CENP-I, but not Cnp3/CENP-C. Overexpression of Cnp20/CENP-T suppressed defects in an N-tail mutant, suggesting a causal link between reduced CENP-T recruitment and the observed centromere inactivation phenotype. Thus, the Cnp1 N-tail promotes epigenetic stability of centromeres via recruitment of the CENP-T branch of the CCAN. Genome-wide localization of GFP-tagged N-tail Cnp1 variant tailswap versus wt control in cnp1 deletion background