A novel single alpha-helix DNA-binding domain in CAF-1 promotes gene silencing and DNA damage survival through tetrasome-length DNA selectivity and spacer function

Ruben Rosas, Rhiannon R. Aguilar, Nina Arslanovic, Anna Seck, Duncan J. Smith, Jessica K. Tyler, Mair E.A. Churchill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The histone chaperone chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) deposits two nascent histone H3/H4 dimers onto newly replicated DNA forming the central core of the nucleosome known as the tetrasome. How CAF-1 ensures there is sufficient space for the assembly of tetrasomes remains unknown. Structural and biophysical characterization of the lysine/glutamic acid/arginine-rich (KER) region of CAF-1 revealed a 128-Å single alpha-helix (SAH) motif with unprecedented DNA-binding properties. Distinct KER sequence features and length of the SAH drive the selectivity of CAF-1 for tetrasome-length DNA and facilitate function in budding yeast. In vivo, the KER coop-erates with the DNA-binding winged helix domain in CAF-1 to overcome DNA damage sensitivity and maintain silencing of gene expression. We propose that the KER SAH links functional domains within CAF-1 with structural precision, acting as a DNA-binding spacer element during chromatin assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere83538
JournaleLife
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience

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