Multivalent di-nucleosome recognition enables the Rpd3S histone deacetylase complex to tolerate decreased H3K36 methylation levels.

Department of Molecular Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390-9148, USA.
The EMBO Journal (Impact Factor: 10.75). 08/2012; 31(17):3564-74. DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2012.221
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Rpd3S histone deacetylase complex represses cryptic transcription initiation within coding regions by maintaining the hypo-acetylated state of transcribed chromatin. Rpd3S recognizes methylation of histone H3 at lysine 36 (H3K36me), which is required for its deacetylation activity. Rpd3S is able to function over a wide range of H3K36me levels, making this a unique system to examine how chromatin regulators tolerate the reduction of their recognition signal. Here, we demonstrated that Rpd3S makes histone modification-independent contacts with nucleosomes, and that Rpd3S prefers di-nucleosome templates since two binding surfaces can be readily accessed simultaneously. Importantly, this multivalent mode of interaction across two linked nucleosomes allows Rpd3S to tolerate a two-fold intramolecular reduction of H3K36me. Our data suggest that chromatin regulators utilize an intrinsic di-nucleosome-recognition mechanism to prevent compromised function when their primary recognition modifications are diluted.

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