Author(s): Anju V, Kapros T, Waterborg JH
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Abstract Ustilago maydis is a haploid basidiomycete with single genes for two distinct histone H3 variants. The solitary U1 gene codes for H3.1, predicted to be a replication-independent replacement histone. The U2 gene is paired with histone H4 and produces a putative replication-coupled H3.2 variant. These predictions were evaluated experimentally. U2 was confirmed to be highly expressed in the S phase and had reduced expression in hydroxyurea, and H3.2 protein was not incorporated into transcribed chromatin of stationary phase cells. Constitutive expression of U1 during growth produced ~25\% of H3 as H3.1 protein, more highly acetylated than H3.2. The level of H3.1 increased when cell proliferation slowed, a hallmark of replacement histones. Half of new H3.1 incorporated into highly acetylated chromatin was lost with a half-life of 2.5 h, the fastest rate of replacement H3 turnover reported to date. This response reflects the characteristic incorporation of replacement H3 into transcribed chromatin, subject to continued nucleosome displacement and a loss of H3 as in animals and plants. Although the two H3 variants are functionally distinct, neither appears to be essential for vegetative growth. KO gene disruption transformants of the U1 and U2 loci produced viable cell lines. The structural and functional similarities of the Ustilago replication-coupled and replication-independent H3 variants with those in animals, in plants, and in ciliates are remarkable because these distinct histone H3 pairs of variants arose independently in each of these clades and in basidiomycetes.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology