H2B (Ser10) Phosphorylation is Induced during Apoptosis and Meiosis in S. cerevisiae

Laboratory of Chromatin Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (Impact Factor: 4.57). 07/2005; 4(6):780-3. DOI: 10.4161/cc.4.6.1745
Source: PubMed


The nucleosome, composed of an octamer of highly conserved histone proteins and associated DNA, is the fundamental unit of eukaryotic chromatin. How arrays of nucleosomes are folded into higher-order structures, and how the dynamics of such compaction are regulated, are questions that remain largely unanswered. Our recent studies demonstrated that phosphorylation of histone H2B is necessary to induce cell death that exhibits phenotypic hallmarks of apoptosis including DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation in yeast (serine 10)1 and in mammalian cells (serine 14)2. In this article, we extend these findings by uncovering a role for H2B phosphorylation at serine 10 (Ser10) in another biological event that is associated with dramatic alterations in higher-order chromatin structure, meiosis. Our data show strong staining, indicative of H2B (Ser10) phosphorylation, during the pachytene stage of yeast meiotic prophase. These data broaden the use of this phosphorylation mark in chromatin remodeling that closely correlates with chromatin compaction. How phosphorylation marks are translated into meaningful downstream events during processes as diverse as apoptosis and meiosis remain a challenge for future studies.

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    • "Chromatin changes: As cells progress through meiosis, different histone modifications appear (Ahn et al. 2005; Borde et al. 2009; Govin et al. 2010a). While some occur early and are likely linked to the chromosome pairing events of meiotic prophase, other modifications accumulate as cells undergo the meiotic divisions. "
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    • "In fact, in response to different stimuli S. cerevisiae commits to cell death showing typical hallmarks of metazoan apoptosis [4]. Although several yeast orthologues of key apoptotic regulators have already been identified [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10], how they work in yeast programmed cell death (PCD) remains to be fully established. "
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    • "mating leads to the generation of diploid cells, which can, as a consequence of scarce nutrition, undergo meiosis and sporulate as a way to stochastically reshuffl e and rearrange the genome to increase genetic diversity and, thus, the fi tness of the population. This meiosis is coupled to apoptosis, as 20% of cells grown on sporulation media undergo apoptotic cell death, whereas the 80% that survive initiate sporulation (Ahn et al., 2005b; Knorre et al., 2005). This might ensure that only genetic recombinants that are adapted to their surroundings survive. "
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