[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Human histone H3.5 is a non-allelic H3 variant evolutionally derived from H3.3. The H3.5 mRNA is highly expressed in human testis. However, the function of H3.5 has remained poorly understood.
We found that the H3.5 nucleosome is less stable than the H3.3 nucleosome. The crystal structure of the H3.5 nucleosome showed that the H3.5-specific Leu103 residue, which corresponds to the H3.3 Phe104 residue, reduces the hydrophobic interaction with histone H4. Mutational analyses revealed that the H3.5-specific Leu103 residue is responsible for the instability of the H3.5 nucleosome, both in vitro and in living cells. The H3.5 protein was present in human seminiferous tubules, but little to none was found in mature sperm. A chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with sequencing analysis revealed that H3.5 accumulated around transcription start sites (TSSs) in testicular cells.
We performed comprehensive studies of H3.5, and found the instability of the H3.5 nucleosome and the accumulation of H3.5 protein around TSSs in human testis. The unstable H3.5 nucleosome may function in the chromatin dynamics around the TSSs, during spermatogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Histone H3.Y is a primate-specific, distant H3 variant. It is evolutionarily derived from H3.3, and may function in transcription
regulation. However, the mechanism by which H3.Y regulates transcription has not been elucidated. In the present study, we
determined the crystal structure of the H3.Y nucleosome, and found that many H3.Y-specific residues are located on the entry/exit
sites of the nucleosome. Biochemical analyses revealed that the DNA ends of the H3.Y nucleosome were more flexible than those
of the H3.3 nucleosome, although the H3.Y nucleosome was stable in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, the linker histone H1, which compacts nucleosomal DNA, appears to bind to the H3.Y nucleosome less efficiently,
as compared to the H3.3 nucleosome. These characteristics of the H3.Y nucleosome are also conserved in the H3.Y/H3.3 heterotypic
nucleosome, which may be the predominant form in cells. In human cells, H3.Y preferentially accumulated around transcription
start sites (TSSs). Taken together, H3.Y-containing nucleosomes around transcription start sites may form relaxed chromatin
that allows transcription factor access, to regulate the transcription status of specific genes.
Preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) is induced in genomic DNA by ultraviolet (UV) light. In mammals, this photolesion is primarily induced within nucleosomal DNA, and repaired exclusively by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. However, the mechanism by which the CPD is accommodated within the nucleosome has remained unknown. We now report the crystal structure of a nucleosome containing CPDs. In the nucleosome, the CPD induces only limited local backbone distortion, and the affected bases are accommodated within the duplex. Interestingly, one of the affected thymine bases is located within 3.0 Å from the undamaged complementary adenine base, suggesting the formation of complementary hydrogen bonds in the nucleosome. We also found that UV-DDB, which binds the CPD at the initial stage of the NER pathway, also efficiently binds to the nucleosomal CPD. These results provide important structural and biochemical information for understanding how the CPD is accommodated and recognized in chromatin.
No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The crotonylation of histones is an important post-translational modification, and epigenetically functions in the regulation of genomic DNA activity. The histone modifications in the structured "histone-fold" domains are considered to have an especially important impact on the nucleosome structure and dynamics. In the present study, we reconstituted the human nucleosome containing histone H3.2 crotonylated at the Lys122 residue, and determined its crystal structure at 2.56 Å resolution. We found that the crotonylation of the H3 Lys122 residue does not affect the overall nucleosome structure, but locally impedes the formation of the water-mediated hydrogen bond with the DNA backbone. Consistently, thermal stability assays revealed that the H3 Lys122 crotonylation, as well as the H3 Lys122 acetylation, clearly reduced the histone-DNA association.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: UV-DDB, an initiation factor for the nucleotide excision repair pathway, recognizes 6-4PP lesions through a base flipping mechanism. As genomic DNA is almost entirely accommodated within nucleosomes, the flipping of the 6-4PP bases is supposed to be extremely difficult if the lesion occurs in a nucleosome, especially on the strand directly contacting the histone surface. Here we report that UV-DDB binds efficiently to nucleosomal 6-4PPs that are rotationally positioned on the solvent accessible or occluded surface. We determined the crystal structures of nucleosomes containing 6-4PPs in these rotational positions, and found that the 6-4PP DNA regions were flexibly disordered, especially in the strand exposed to the solvent. This characteristic of 6-4PP may facilitate UV-DDB binding to the damaged nucleosome. We present the first atomic-resolution pictures of the detrimental DNA cross-links of neighboring pyrimidine bases within the nucleosome, and provide the mechanistic framework for lesion recognition by UV-DDB in chromatin.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Solution structures of nucleosomes containing a human histone variant, H2A.Z.1, were measured by small-angle X-ray and neutron scatterings (SAXS and SANS). SAXS revealed that the outer shape, reflecting the DNA shape, of the H2A.Z.1 nucleosome is almost the same as that of the canonical H2A nucleosome. In contrast, SANS employing a contrast variation technique revealed that the histone octamer of the H2A.Z.1 nucleosome is smaller than that of the canonical nucleosome. The DNA within the H2A.Z.1 nucleosome was more susceptible to micrococcal nuclease than that within the canonical nucleosome. These results suggested that the DNA is loosely wrapped around the histone core in the H2A.Z.1 nucleosome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The centromere-specific histone H3 variant, CENP-A, is overexpressed in particular aggressive cancer cells, where it can be mislocalized ectopically in the form of heterotypic nucleosomes containing H3.3. In the present study, we report the crystal structure of the heterotypic CENP-A/H3.3 particle and reveal its "hybrid structure", in which the physical characteristics of CENP-A and H3.3 are conserved independently within the same particle. The CENP-A/H3.3 nucleosome forms an unexpectedly stable structure as compared to the CENP-A nucleosome, and allows the binding of the essential centromeric protein, CENP-C, which is ectopically mislocalized in the chromosomes of CENP-A overexpressing cells.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Nucleosomes are extremely stable histone-DNA complexes that form the building blocks of chromatin, which accommodates genomic DNA within the nucleus. The dynamic properties of chromatin play essential roles in regulating genomic DNA functions, such as DNA replication, recombination, repair, and transcription. Histones are the protein components of nucleosomes, and their diverse modifications and variants increase the versatility of nucleosome structures and their dynamics in chromatin. Therefore, a technique to evaluate the physical properties of nucleosomes would facilitate functional studies of the various nucleosomes. In this report, we describe a convenient assay for evaluating the thermal stability of nucleosomes in vitro.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The human histone H2B variant TSH2B is highly expressed in testis and may function in the chromatin transition during spermatogenesis. In the present study, the crystal structure of the human testis-specific nucleosome containing TSH2B was determined at 2.8 Å resolution. A local structural difference between TSH2B and canonical H2B in nucleosomes was detected around the TSH2B-specific amino-acid residue Ser85. The TSH2B Ser85 residue does not interact with H4 in the nucleosome, but in the canonical nucleosome the H2B Asn84 residue (corresponding to the TSH2B Ser85 residue) forms water-mediated hydrogen bonds with the H4 Arg78 residue. In contrast, the other TSH2B-specific amino-acid residues did not induce any significant local structural changes in the TSH2B nucleosome. These findings may provide important information for understanding how testis-specific histone variants form nucleosomes during spermatogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Histones are the protein components of the nucleosome, which forms the basic architecture of eukaryotic chromatin. Histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 are composed of two common regions, the "histone fold" and the "histone tail". Many efforts have been focused on the mechanisms by which the post-translational modifications of histone tails regulate the higher-order chromatin architecture. On the other hand, previous biochemical studies have suggested that histone tails also affect the structure and stability of the nucleosome core particle itself. However, the precise contributions of each histone tail are unclear. In the present study, we determined the crystal structures of four mutant nucleosomes, in which one of the four histones, H2A, H2B, H3, or H4, lacked the N-terminal tail. We found that the deletion of the H2B or H3 N-terminal tail affected histone-DNA interactions and substantially decreased nucleosome stability. These findings provide important information for understanding the complex roles of histone tails in regulating chromatin structure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The histone H2A.Z variant is widely conserved among eukaryotes. Two isoforms, H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2, have been identified in vertebrates and may have distinct functions in cell growth and gene expression. However, no structural differences between H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2 have been reported. In the present study, the crystal structures of nucleosomes containing human H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2 were determined. The structures of the L1 loop regions were found to clearly differ between H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2, although their amino-acid sequences in this region are identical. This structural polymorphism may have been induced by a substitution that evolutionally occurred at the position of amino acid 38 and by the flexible nature of the L1 loops of H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2. It was also found that in living cells nucleosomal H2A.Z.1 exchanges more rapidly than H2A.Z.2. A mutational analysis revealed that the amino-acid difference at position 38 is at least partially responsible for the distinctive dynamics of H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2. These findings provide important new information for understanding the differences in the regulation and functions of H2A.Z.1 and H2A.Z.2 in cells.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The centromere is a specific genomic region upon which the kinetochore is formed to attach to spindle microtubules for faithful chromosome segregation. To distinguish this chromosomal region from other genomic loci, the centromere contains a specific chromatin structure including specialized nucleosomes containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A. In addition to CENP-A nucleosomes, we have found that centromeres contain a nucleosome-like structure comprised of the histone-fold CENP-T-W-S-X complex. However, it is unclear how the CENP-T-W-S-X complex associates with centromere chromatin. Here, we demonstrate that the CENP-T-W-S-X complex binds preferentially to ∼100 bp of linker DNA rather than nucleosome-bound DNA. In addition, we find that the CENP-T-W-S-X complex primarily binds to DNA as a (CENP-T-W-S-X)2 structure. Interestingly, in contrast to canonical nucleosomes that negatively supercoil DNA, the CENP-T-W-S-X complex induces positive DNA supercoils. We found that the DNA-binding regions in CENP-T or CENP-W, but not CENP-S or CENP-X, are required for this positive supercoiling activity and the kinetochore targeting of the CENP-T-W-S-X complex. In summary, our work reveals the structural features and properties of the CENP-T-W-S-X complex for its localization to centromeres.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Nucleic Acids Research