Nucleosome assembly following DNA replication controls epigenome maintenance and genome integrity. Chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) is the histone chaperone responsible for histone (H3-H4)2 deposition following DNA synthesis. Structural and functional details for this chaperone complex and its interaction with histones are slowly emerging. Using hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry, combined with in vitro and in vivo mutagenesis studies, we identified the regions involved in the direct interaction between the yeast CAF-1 subunits, and mapped the CAF-1 domains responsible for H3-H4 binding. The large subunit, Cac1 organizes the assembly of CAF-1. Strikingly, H3-H4 binding is mediated by a composite interface, shaped by Cac1-bound Cac2 and the Cac1 acidic region. Cac2 is indispensable for productive histone binding, while deletion of Cac3 has only moderate effects on H3-H4 binding and nucleosome assembly. These results define direct structural roles for yeast CAF-1 subunits and uncover a previously unknown critical function of the middle subunit in CAF-1.
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Mattiroli, Francesca; Gu, Yajie; Balsbaugh, Jeremy L; Ahn, Natalie G; and Luger, Karolin, "The Cac2 subunit is essential for productive histone binding and nucleosome assembly in CAF-1." (2017). Chemistry & Biochemistry Faculty Contributions. 118.