Stepwise assembly of chromatin during DNA replication in vitro.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724.
The EMBO Journal (Impact Factor: 10.75). 05/1991; 10(4):971-80.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A cell free system that supports replication-dependent chromatin assembly has been used to determine the mechanism of histone deposition during DNA replication. CAF-I, a human cell nuclear factor, promotes chromatin assembly on replicating SV40 DNA in the presence of a crude cytosol replication extract. Biochemical fractionation of the cytosol extract has allowed separation of the chromatin assembly reaction into two steps. During the first step, CAF-I targets the deposition of newly synthesized histones H3 and H4 to the replicating DNA. This reaction is dependent upon and coupled with DNA replication, and utilizes the newly synthesized forms of histones H3 and H4, which unlike bulk histone found in chromatin, do not bind to DNA by themselves. The H3/H4-replicated DNA complex is a stable intermediate which exhibits a micrococcal nuclease resistant structure and can be isolated by sucrose gradient sedimentation. In the second step, this replicated precursor is converted to mature chromatin by the addition of histones H2A and H2B in a reaction that can occur after DNA replication. The requirement for CAF-I in at least the first step of the reaction suggests a level of cellular control for this fundamental process.

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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana mutants in FAS1 and FAS2 subunits of Chromatin Assembly Factor 1 (CAF1) show progressive loss of 45S rDNA copies and telomeres. We hypothesized that homology-dependent DNA damage repair (HDR) may contribute to the loss of these repeats in fas mutants. To test this, we generated double mutants by crossing fas mutants with knock out mutants in RAD51B, one of the Rad51 paralogs of A. thaliana. Our results show that the absence of RAD51B decreases the rate of rDNA loss, confirming the implication of RAD51B-dependent recombination in rDNA loss in the CAF1 mutants. Interestingly, this effect is not observed for telomeric repeat loss, which thus differs from that acting in rDNA loss. Involvement of DNA damage repair in rDNA dynamics in fas mutants is further supported by accumulation of double-strand breaks (measured as γ-H2AX foci) in 45S rDNA. Occurrence of the foci is not specific for S-phase, and is ATM-independent. While the foci in fas mutants occur both in the transcribed (intranucleolar) and non-transcribed (nucleoplasmic) fraction of rDNA, double fas rad51b mutants show a specific increase in number of the intranucleolar foci. These results suggest that the repair of double-strand breaks present in the transcribed rDNA region is RAD51B-dependent and that this contributes to rDNA repeat loss in fas mutants, presumably via the single strand annealing recombination pathway. Our results also highlight the importance of proper chromatin assembly in the maintenance of genome stability.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract During DNA replication, nucleosomes ahead of replication forks are disassembled to accommodate replication machinery. Following DNA replication, nucleosomes are then reassembled onto replicated DNA using both parental and newly synthesized histones. This process, termed DNA replication-coupled nucleosome assembly (RCNA), is critical for maintaining genome integrity and for the propagation of epigenetic information, dysfunctions of which have been implicated in cancers and aging. In recent years, it has been shown that RCNA is carefully orchestrated by a series of histone modifications, histone chaperones and histone-modifying enzymes. Interestingly, many features of RCNA are also found in processes involving DNA replication-independent nucleosome assembly like histone exchange and gene transcription. In yeast, histone H3 lysine K56 acetylation (H3K56ac) is found in newly synthesized histone H3 and is critical for proper nucleosome assembly and for maintaining genomic stability. The histone acetyltransferase (HAT) regulator of Ty1 transposition 109 (Rtt109) is the sole enzyme responsible for H3K56ac in yeast. Much research has centered on this particular histone modification and histone-modifying enzyme. This Critical Review summarizes much of our current understanding of nucleosome assembly and highlights many important insights learned from studying Rtt109 HATs in fungi. We highlight some seminal features in nucleosome assembly conserved in mammalian systems and describe some of the lingering questions in the field. Further studying fungal and mammalian chromatin assembly may have important public health implications, including deeper understandings of human cancers and aging as well as the pursuit of novel anti-fungal therapies.
    Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 11/2014; 50(1):1-23. DOI:10.3109/10409238.2014.978975 · 5.81 Impact Factor
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