Naoki Horikoshi

Waseda University, Edo, Tokyo, Japan

Are you Naoki Horikoshi?

Claim your profile

Publications (20)73.51 Total impact

  • Source
    [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: 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
  • Yuya Suzuki · Naoki Horikoshi · Daiki Kato · Hitoshi Kurumizaka
    [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
  • Source

    Full-text · Dataset · Nov 2015
  • Source
    [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
  • Source
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CENP-A and CENP-B are major components of centromeric chromatin. CENP-A is the histone H3 variant, which forms the centromere-specific nucleosome. CENP-B specifically binds to the CENP-B box DNA sequence on the centromere-specific repetitive DNA. In the present study, we found that the CENP-A nucleosome more stably retains human CENP-B than the H3.1 nucleosome in vitro. Specifically, CENP-B forms a stable complex with the CENP-A nucleosome, when the CENP-B box sequence is located at the proximal edge of the nucleosome. Surprisingly, the CENP-B binding was weaker when the CENP-B box sequence was located in the distal linker region of the nucleosome. This difference in CENP-B binding, depending on the CENP-B box location, was not observed with the H3.1 nucleosome. Consistently, we found that the DNA-binding domain of CENP-B specifically interacted with the CENP-A-H4 complex, but not with the H3.1-H4 complex, in vitro. These results suggested that CENP-B forms a more stable complex with the CENP-A nucleosome through specific interactions with CENP-A, if the CENP-B box is located proximal to the CENP-A nucleosome. Our in vivo assay also revealed that CENP-B binding in the vicinity of the CENP-A nucleosome substantially stabilizes the CENP-A nucleosome on alphoid DNA in human cells. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Nucleic Acids Research
  • Source
    [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.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Methods
  • Source
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology Communications
  • Source
    [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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · FEBS Open Bio
  • Source
    [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
  • Source
    [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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Post-translational histone modifications play key roles in gene regulation, development, and differentiation, but their dynamics in living organisms remain almost completely unknown. To address this problem, we developed a genetically encoded system for tracking histone modifications by generating fluorescent modification-specific intracellular antibodies (mintbodies) that can be expressed in vivo. To demonstrate, an H3 lysine 9 acetylation specific mintbody (H3K9ac-mintbody) was engineered and stably expressed in human cells. In good agreement with the localization of its target acetylation, H3K9ac-mintbody was enriched in euchromatin, and its kinetics measurably changed upon treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. We also generated transgenic fruit fly and zebrafish stably expressing H3K9ac-mintbody for in vivo tracking. Dramatic changes in H3K9ac-mintbody localization during Drosophila embryogenesis could highlight enhanced acetylation at the start of zygotic transcription around mitotic cycle 7. Together, this work demonstrates the broad potential of mintbody and lays the foundation for epigenetic analysis in vivo.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Scientific Reports
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome is episomally maintained in latently infected cells. The viral protein EBNA1 is a bridging molecule that tethers EBV episomes to host mitotic chromosomes as well as to interphase chromatin. EBNA1 localizes to cellular chromosomes (chromatin) via its chromosome binding domains (CBDs), which are rich in glycine and arginine residues. However, the molecular mechanism by which the CBDs of EBNA1 attach to cellular chromatin is still under debate. Mutation analyses revealed that stepwise substitution of arginine residues within the CBD1 (amino acids 40–54) and CBD2 (amino acids 328–377) regions with alanines progressively impaired chromosome binding activity of EBNA1. The complete arginine-to-alanine substitutions within the CBD1 and -2 regions abolished the ability of EBNA1 to stably maintain EBV-derived oriP plasmids in dividing cells. Importantly, replacing the same arginines with lysines had minimal effect, if any, on chromosome binding of EBNA1 as well as on its ability to stably maintain oriP plasmids. Furthermore, a glycine-arginine-rich peptide derived from the CBD1 region bound to reconstituted nucleosome core particles in vitro, as did a glycine-lysine rich peptide, whereas a glycine-alanine rich peptide did not. These results support the idea that the chromosome binding of EBNA1 is mediated by electrostatic interactions between the basic amino acids within the CBDs and negatively charged cellular chromatin.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Athe_0614 protein is a component of the extracellular proteins secreted by the anaerobic, extremely thermophilic and cellulolytic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified to near-homogeneity and crystallized using polyethylene glycol 2000 monomethyl ether as a precipitant. The crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 48.4, b = 42.2, c = 97.8 Å, β = 96.1°, and diffracted to 2.7 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The nucleosome is the basic repeating unit of chromatin. During the nucleosome assembly process, DNA is wrapped around two H3-H4 dimers, followed by the inclusion of two H2A-H2B dimers. The H3-H4 dimers provide the fundamental architecture of the nucleosome. Many non-allelic variants have been found for H3, but not for H4, suggesting that the functions of chromatin domains may, at least in part, be dictated by the specific H3 variant that is incorporated. A prominent example is the centromeric H3 variant, CENP-A, which specifies the function of centromeres in chromosomes. In this review, we survey the current progress in the studies of nucleosomes containing H3 variants, and discuss their implications for the architecture and dynamics of chromatin domains.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Current Opinion in Structural Biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A deficiency in the SMN gene product causes the motor neuron degenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy. GEMIN2 was identified as an SMN-interacting protein, and the SMN-GEMIN2 complex constitutes part of the large SMN complex, which promotes the assembly of the spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP). In addition to its splicing function, we previously found that GEMIN2 alone stimulates RAD51-mediated recombination in vitro, and functions in DNA double-strand-break (DSB) repair through homologous recombination in vivo. However, the function of SMN in homologous recombination has not been reported. In the present study, we successfully purified the SMN-GEMIN2 complex as a fusion protein. The SMN-GEMIN2 fusion protein complemented the growth-defective phenotype of GEMIN2-knockout cells. The purified SMN-GEMIN2 fusion protein enhanced the RAD51-mediated homologous pairing much more efficiently than GEMIN2 alone. SMN-GEMIN2 possessed DNA-binding activity, which was not observed with the GEMIN2 protein, and significantly stimulated the secondary duplex DNA capture by the RAD51-single-stranded DNA complex during homologous pairing. These results provide the first evidence that the SMN-GEMIN2 complex plays a role in homologous recombination, in addition to spliceosomal snRNP assembly.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Biochemistry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PAD4 is a peptidylarginine deiminase that catalyzes citrullination, a type of post-translational modification. In this reaction, arginine residues in proteins are converted to citrulline. PAD4 promotes the deimination of arginine residues in histones and may regulate transcription in the context of the chromatin. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the gene encoding PAD4 identified it as one of the genes associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. The PAD4 SNP involve three amino-acid substitutions: Ser55 to Gly, Ala82 to Val and Ala112 to Gly. Autoantibodies for improperly citrullinated proteins have been found in rheumatoid arthritis patients, suggesting that the PAD4(SNP) mRNA is more stable than the conventional PAD4 mRNA and/or the PAD4(SNP) protein possesses a higher citrullination activity than the PAD4 protein. In order to study the effects of the three amino-acid substitutions found in PAD4(SNP), the crystal structure of PAD4(SNP) was determined and it was found that the amino-acid substitutions in PAD4(SNP) only induced conformational changes within the N-terminal domain, not in the active centre for citrullination located in the C-terminal domain. Biochemical analyses also suggested that the citrullination activity of PAD4(SNP) may not substantially differ from that of conventional PAD4. These structural and biochemical findings suggested that the improper protein citrullination found in rheumatoid arthritis patients is not caused by defects in the citrullination activity of PAD4(SNP) but by other reasons such as enhanced PAD4(SNP) mRNA stability.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SPF45 is considered to be a bifunctional protein that functions in splicing and DNA repair. A previous genetic study reported that Drosophila SPF45 participates in the DNA-repair pathway with a RAD51-family protein, RAD201, suggesting that SPF45 may function in DNA repair by the homologous-recombination pathway. To study the function of SPF45 in homologous recombination, we purified human SPF45 and found that it preferentially binds to the Holliday junction, which is a key DNA intermediate in the homologous-recombination pathway. Deletion analyses revealed that the RNA recognition motif, which is located in the C-terminal region of human SPF45, is not involved in DNA binding. On the other hand, alanine-scanning mutagenesis identified the N-terminal lysine residues, which may be involved in Holliday junction binding by human SPF45. We also found that human SPF45 significantly binds to a RAD51 paralog, RAD51B, although it also binds to RAD51 and DMC1 with lower affinity. These biochemical results support the idea that human SPF45 functions in DNA repair by homologous recombination.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Genes to Cells