Structure of the yeast histone H3-ASF1 interaction: implications for chaperone mechanism, species-specific interactions, and epigenetics

Antczak, Andrew J.; Tsubota, Toshiaki; Kaufman, Paul D.; Berger, James M.
January 2006
BMC Structural Biology;2006, Vol. 6, p26
Academic Journal
Background: The histone H3/H4 chaperone Asf1 (anti-silencing function 1) is required for the establishment and maintenance of proper chromatin structure, as well as for genome stability in eukaryotes. Asf1 participates in both DNA replication-coupled (RC) and replication-independent (RI) histone deposition reactions in vitro and interacts with complexes responsible for both pathways in vivo. Asf1 is known to directly bind histone H3, however, high-resolution structural information about the geometry of this interaction was previously unknown. Results: Here we report the structure of a histone/histone chaperone interaction. We have solved the 2.2 Ã… crystal structure of the conserved N-terminal immunoglobulin fold domain of yeast Asf1 (residues 2-155) bound to the C-terminal helix of yeast histone H3 (residues 121-134). The structure defines a histone-binding patch on Asf1 consisting of both conserved and yeastspecific residues; mutation of these residues abrogates H3/H4 binding affinity. The geometry of the interaction indicates that Asf1 binds to histones H3/H4 in a manner that likely blocks sterically the H3/H3 interface of the nucleosomal four-helix bundle. Conclusion: These data clarify how Asf1 regulates histone stoichiometry to modulate epigenetic inheritance. The structure further suggests a physical model in which Asf1 contributes to interpretation of a "histone H3 barcode" for sorting H3 isoforms into different deposition pathways.


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