One of the most dramatic forms of chromatin reorganization occurs during spermatogenesis, when the paternal genome is repackaged from a nucleosomal to a protamine-based structure. We assessed the role of the canonical histone chaperone CAF1 in Drosophila spermatogenesis. In this process, CAF1 does not behave as a complex, but its subunits display distinct chromatin dynamics. During histone-to-protamine replacement, CAF1-p180 dissociates from the DNA while CAF1-p75 binds and stays on as a component of sperm chromatin. Association of CAF1-p75 with the paternal genome depends on CAF1-p180 and protamines. Conversely, CAF1-p75 binds protamines and is required for their incorporation into sperm chromatin. Histone removal, however, occurs independently of CAF1 or protamines. Thus, CAF1-p180 and CAF1-p75 function in a temporal hierarchy during sperm chromatin assembly, with CAF1-p75 acting as a protamine-loading factor. These results show that CAF1 subunits mediate the assembly of two fundamentally different forms of chromatin.

dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/41065
Cell Reports
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Doyen, C.M, Moshkin, Y, Chalkley, G.E, Bezstarosti, K, Demmers, J.A.A, Rathke, C, … Verrijzer, C.P. (2013). Subunits of the Histone Chaperone CAF1 Also Mediate Assembly of Protamine-Based Chromatin. Cell Reports, 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.002