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Chromosoma 2007 Oct 01;1165:487-96. doi: 10.1007/s00412-007-0112-x.
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The histone chaperone Asf1 is dispensable for direct de novo histone deposition in Xenopus egg extracts.

Ray-Gallet D , Quivy JP , Silljé HW , Nigg EA , Almouzni G .

Histone chaperones that escort histones during their overall lifetime from synthesis to sites of usage can participate in various tasks. Their requirement culminates in the dynamic processes of nucleosome assembly and disassembly. In this context, it is important to define the exact role of the histone chaperone Asf1. In mammals, Asf1 interacts with two other chaperones, CAF-1 and HIRA, which are critical in DNA synthesis-coupled and synthesis-uncoupled nucleosome assembly pathways, respectively. A key issue is whether Asf1 is able or not to deposit histones onto DNA by itself in both pathways. Here, to delineate the precise role of Asf1 in chromatin assembly, we used Xenopus egg extracts as a powerful system to assay de novo chromatin assembly pathways in vitro. Following characterization of both Xenopus Asf1 and p60 (CAF-1), we used immunodepletion strategies targeting Asf1, HIRA, or CAF-1. Strikingly, the depletion of Asf1 led to the simultaneous depletion of HIRA and consequently impaired the DNA synthesis-independent nucleosome assembly pathway. The rescue of nucleosome assembly capacity in such extracts was effective when adding HIRA along with H3/H4 histones, yet addition of Asf1 along with H3/H4 histones did not work. Moreover, nucleosome assembly coupled to DNA repair was not affected in these Asf1/HIRA-depleted extracts, a pathway impaired by CAF-1 depletion. Thus, these data show that Asf1 is not directly involved in de novo histone deposition during DNA synthesis-independent and synthesis-dependent pathways in egg extracts. Based on our results, it becomes important to consider the implications for Asf1 function during early development in Xenopus.

PubMed ID: 17576589
Article link: Chromosoma

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: arhgef5 asf1a hira

References [+] :
Adkins, The histone chaperone Asf1p mediates global chromatin disassembly in vivo. 2004, Pubmed