Piccolo NuA4 is an essential yeast histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complex that targets histones H4 and H2A in nucleosome substrates. While Piccolo NuA4's catalytic subunit Esa1 alone is unable to acetylate nucleosomal histones, its accessory subunits, Yng2 and Epl1, enable Esa1 to bind to and to act on nucleosomes. We previously determined that the Tudor domain of Esa1 and the EPcA homology domain of Epl1 play critical roles in Piccolo NuA4's ability to act on the nucleosome. In this work, we pinpoint a loop within the Esa1 Tudor domain, and a short basic region at the N-terminus of the Epl1 EPcA domain as necessary for this nucleosomal HAT activity. We also show that this Esa1 Tudor domain loop region is positioned close to nucleosomal DNA and that the Epl1 EPcA basic region is in proximity to the N-terminal histone H2A tail, the globular region of histone H4 and also to nucleosomal DNA when Piccolo NuA4 interacts with the nucleosome. Since neither regions identified is required for Piccolo NuA4 to bind to nucleosomes and yet both are needed to acetylate nucleosomes, these regions may function after the enzyme binds nucleosomes to disengage substrate histone tails from nucleosomal DNA.
"The small region mapped on JADE and BRPF proteins is related to a similar N-terminal region of the EPC1/Epl1 scaffold subunits of the TIP60 (humans) and NuA4 (yeast) H4/H2A-specific HAT complexes . It previously had been shown to be important for binding to nucleosomes and for acetylation and was found to interact with the histone H2A N-terminal tail within the nucleosome (Selleck et al. 2005; Chittuluru et al. 2011; Huang and Tan 2013). Further analysis demonstrated that this domain was essential for Tip60/NuA4 to acetylate the nucleosomal H4 tail, while acetylation of the nucleosomal H2A tail was still detected (Lalonde et al. 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone modifiers like acetyltransferases, methyltransferases, and demethylases are critical regulators of most DNA-based nuclear processes, de facto controlling cell cycle progression and cell fate. These enzymes perform very precise post-translational modifications on specific histone residues, which in turn are recognized by different effector modules/proteins. We now have a better understanding of how these enzymes exhibit such specificity. As they often reside in multisubunit complexes, they use associated factors to target their substrates within chromatin structure and select specific histone mark-bearing nucleosomes. In this review, we cover the current understanding of how histone modifiers select their histone targets. We also explain how different experimental approaches can lead to conflicting results about the histone specificity and function of these enzymes.
Genes & development 05/2014; 28(10):1029-1041. DOI:10.1101/gad.236331.113 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) assemble into multisubunit complexes in order to target distinct lysine residues on nucleosomal histones. Here, we characterize native HAT complexes assembled by the BRPF family of scaffold proteins. Their plant homeodomain (PHD)-Zn knuckle-PHD domain is essential for binding chromatin and is restricted to unmethylated H3K4, a specificity that is reversed by the associated ING subunit. Native BRPF1 complexes can contain either MOZ/MORF or HBO1 as catalytic acetyltransferase subunit. Interestingly, while the previously reported HBO1 complexes containing JADE scaffold proteins target histone H4, the HBO1-BRPF1 complex acetylates only H3 in chromatin. We mapped a small region to the N terminus of scaffold proteins responsible for histone tail selection on chromatin. Thus, alternate choice of subunits associated with HBO1 can switch its specificity between H4 and H3 tails. These results uncover a crucial new role for associated proteins within HAT complexes, previously thought to be intrinsic to the catalytic subunit.
Genes & development 09/2013; 27(18):2009-24. DOI:10.1101/gad.223396.113 · 10.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of chromatin are involved in gene regulation, thereby contributing to cell differentiation, lineage determination, and organism development. Discrete chromatin states are established by the action of a large set of enzymes that catalyze the deposition, propagation, and removal of histone PTMs, thereby modulating gene expression. Given their central role in determining and maintaining cellular phenotype, as well as in controlling chromatin processes such as DNA repair, the dysregulation of these enzymes can have serious consequences, and can result in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, such chromatin regulator proteins are promising drug targets. However, they are often present in large, modular protein complexes that specifically recognize target chromatin regions and exhibit intricate regulation through preexisting histone marks. This renders the study of their enzymatic mechanisms complex. Recent developments in the chemical production of defined chromatin substrates show great promise for improving our understanding of the activity of chromatin regulator complexes at the molecular level. Herein I discuss examples highlighting the application of synthetic chromatin to study the enzymatic mechanisms and regulatory pathways of these crucial protein complexes in detail, with potential implications for assay development in pharmacological research.
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