Dissecting the Molecular Roles of Histone Chaperones in Histone Acetylation by Type B Histone Acetyltransferases (HAT-B) [Enzymology]

November 1st, 2015 by Haigney, A., Ricketts, M. D., Marmorstein, R.

The HAT-B enzyme complex is responsible for acetylating newly synthesized H4 on lysines K5 and K12. HAT-B is a multi subunit complex composed of the histone acetyltransferase 1 (Hat1) catalytic subunit and the Hat2 (rbap46) histone chaperone. Hat1 is predominantly localized in the nucleus as a member of a trimeric NuB4 complex containing Hat1, Hat2 and a histone H3-H4 specific histone chaperone called Hif1 (NASP). In addition to Hif1 and Hat2, Hat1 interacts with Asf1 (anti-silencing function 1), a histone chaperone that has been reported to be involved in both replication-dependent and independent chromatin assembly. In order to elucidate the molecular roles of the Hif1 and Asf1 histone chaperones in HAT-B histone binding and acetyltransferase activity, we have characterized the stoichiometry and binding mode of Hif1 and Asf1 to HAT-B and the effect of this binding on the enzymatic activity of HAT-B. We find that Hif1 and Asf1 bind through different modes and independently to HAT-B, whereby Hif1 binds directly to Hat2 and Asf1 is only capable of interactions with HAT-B through contacts with histones H3-H4. We also demonstrate that HAT-B is significantly more active against an intact H3-H4 heterodimer over a histone H4 peptide, independent of either Hif1 or Asf1 binding. Mutational studies further demonstrate that HAT-B binding to the histone tail regions are not sufficient for this enhanced activity. Based on this data, we propose a model for HAT-B/histone chaperone assembly and acetylation of H3-H4 complexes.