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Guillermo ORSI

Lost in Transcription: No Country for Old Histones
When Feb 28, 2020
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Contact Name Equipe Loppin, Salle des Thèses
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The packaging of DNA into nucleosomes represents a challenge for transcription.  Nucleosome disruption and histone eviction enables RNA Polymerase II progression through DNA, a process that compromises chromatin integrity and the maintenance of epigenetic information. Here, we used the imaging SNAP-tag system to distinguish new and old histones and monitor chromatin re-assembly coupled to transcription in cells. First, we uncovered a loss of both old variants H3.1 and H3.3 that depends on transcriptional activity, with a major effect on H3.3. Focusing on transcriptionally active domains, we revealed a local enrichment in H3.3 with dynamics involving both new H3.3 incorporation and old H3.3 retention. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the HIRA chaperone is critical to handle both new and old H3.3, and showed that this implicates different pathways. The de novo H3.3 deposition depends strictly on HIRA trimerization as well as its partner UBN1 while ASF1 interaction with HIRA can be bypassed. In contrast, the recycling of H3.3 requires HIRA but proceeds independently of UBN1 or HIRA trimerization and shows an absolute dependency on ASF1-HIRA interaction. Therefore, we propose a model where HIRA can coordinate these distinct pathways for old H3.3 recycling and new H3.3 deposition during transcription to fine-tune chromatin states.