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Opposing chromatin remodelers control transcription initiation frequency and start site selection.
Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2019 Aug; 26 (8): 744-754
Precise nucleosome organization at eukaryotic promoters is thought to be generated by multiple chromatin remodeler (CR) enzymes and to affect transcription initiation. Using an integrated analysis of chromatin remodeler binding and nucleosome occupancy following rapid remodeler depletion, we investigated the interplay between these enzymes and their impact on transcription in yeast. We show that many promoters are affected by multiple CRs that operate in concert or in opposition to position the key transcription start site (TSS)-associated +1 nucleosome. We also show that nucleosome movement after CR inactivation usually results from the activity of another CR and that in the absence of any remodeling activity, +1 nucleosomes largely maintain their positions. Finally, we present functional assays suggesting that +1 nucleosome positioning often reflects a trade-off between maximizing RNA polymerase recruitment and minimizing transcription initiation at incorrect sites. Our results provide a detailed picture of fundamental mechanisms linking promoter nucleosome architecture to transcription initiation.
Rif1 S-acylation mediates DNA double-strand break repair at the inner nuclear membrane.
Nat Commun, 2019 Jun 10; 10 (1): 2535
Rif1 is involved in telomere homeostasis, DNA replication timing, and DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway choice from yeast to human. The molecular mechanisms that enable Rif1 to fulfill its diverse roles remain to be determined. Here, we demonstrate that Rif1 is S-acylated within its conserved N-terminal domain at cysteine residues C466 and C473 by the DHHC family palmitoyl acyltransferase Pfa4. Rif1 S-acylation facilitates the accumulation of Rif1 at DSBs, the attenuation of DNA end-resection, and DSB repair by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). These findings identify S-acylation as a posttranslational modification regulating DNA repair. S-acylated Rif1 mounts a localized DNA-damage response proximal to the inner nuclear membrane, revealing a mechanism of compartmentalized DSB repair pathway choice by sequestration of a fatty acylated repair factor at the inner nuclear membrane.
A ribosome assembly stress response regulates transcription to maintain proteome homeostasis.
Elife, 2019 May 24; 8 :
Ribosome biogenesis is a complex and energy-demanding process requiring tight coordination of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and ribosomal protein (RP) production. Given the extremely high level of RP synthesis in rapidly growing cells, alteration of any step in the ribosome assembly process may impact growth by leading to proteotoxic stress. Although the transcription factor Hsf1 has emerged as a central regulator of proteostasis, how its activity is coordinated with ribosome biogenesis is unknown. Here, we show that arrest of ribosome biogenesis in the budding yeast triggers rapid activation of a highly specific stress pathway that coordinately upregulates Hsf1 target genes and downregulates RP genes. Activation of Hsf1 target genes requires neo-synthesis of RPs, which accumulate in an insoluble fraction and presumably titrate a negative regulator of Hsf1, the Hsp70 chaperone. RP aggregation is also coincident with that of the RP gene activator Ifh1, a transcription factor that is rapidly released from RP gene promoters. Our data support a model in which the levels of newly synthetized RPs, imported into the nucleus but not yet assembled into ribosomes, work to continuously balance Hsf1 and Ifh1 activity, thus guarding against proteotoxic stress during ribosome assembly.
Sfp1 regulates transcriptional networks driving cell growth and division through multiple promoter-binding modes.
Genes Dev, 2019 Mar 1; 33 (5-6): 288-293
The yeast Sfp1 protein regulates both cell division and growth but how it coordinates these processes is poorly understood. We demonstrate that Sfp1 directly controls genes required for ribosome production and many other growth-promoting processes. Remarkably, the complete set of Sfp1 target genes is revealed only by a combination of ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) and ChEC (chromatin endogenous cleavage) methods, which uncover two promoter binding modes, one requiring a cofactor and the other a DNA-recognition motif. Glucose-regulated Sfp1 binding at cell cycle "START" genes suggests that Sfp1 controls cell size by coordinating expression of genes implicated in mass accumulation and cell division.
General Regulatory Factors Control the Fidelity of Transcription by Restricting Non-coding and Ectopic Initiation.
Mol Cell, 2018 Dec 20; 72 (6): 955-969.e7
The fidelity of transcription initiation is essential for accurate gene expression, but the determinants of start site selection are not fully understood. Rap1 and other general regulatory factors (GRFs) control the expression of many genes in yeast. We show that depletion of these factors induces widespread ectopic transcription initiation within promoters. This generates many novel non-coding RNAs and transcript isoforms with diverse stability, drastically altering the coding potential of the transcriptome. Ectopic transcription initiation strongly correlates with altered nucleosome positioning. We provide evidence that Rap1 can suppress ectopic initiation by a "place-holder" mechanism whereby it physically occludes inappropriate sites for pre-initiation complex formation. These results reveal an essential role for GRFs in the fidelity of transcription initiation and in the suppression of pervasive transcription, profoundly redefining current models for their function. They have important implications for the mechanism of transcription initiation and the control of gene expression.
Distinct patterns of histone acetyltransferase and Mediator deployment at yeast protein-coding genes.
Genes Dev, 2018 Sep 1; 32 (17-18): 1252-1265
The transcriptional coactivators Mediator and two histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complexes, NuA4 and SAGA, play global roles in transcriptional activation. Here we explore the relative contributions of these factors to RNA polymerase II association at specific genes and gene classes by rapid nuclear depletion of key complex subunits. We show that the NuA4 HAT Esa1 differentially affects certain groups of genes, whereas the SAGA HAT Gcn5 has a weaker but more uniform effect. Relative dependence on Esa1 and Tra1, a shared component of NuA4 and SAGA, distinguishes two large groups of coregulated growth-promoting genes. In contrast, we show that the activity of Mediator is particularly important at a separate, small set of highly transcribed TATA-box-containing genes. Our analysis indicates that at least three distinct combinations of coactivator deployment are used to generate moderate or high transcription levels and suggests that each may be associated with distinct forms of regulation.
Sequence-Directed Action of RSC Remodeler and General Regulatory Factors Modulates +1 Nucleosome Position to Facilitate Transcription.
Mol Cell, 2018 Jul 5; 71 (1): 89-102.e5
Accessible chromatin is important for RNA polymerase II recruitment and transcription initiation at eukaryotic promoters. We investigated the mechanistic links between promoter DNA sequence, nucleosome positioning, and transcription. Our results indicate that positioning of the transcription start site-associated +1 nucleosome in yeast is critical for efficient TBP binding and is driven by two key factors, the essential chromatin remodeler RSC and a small set of ubiquitous general regulatory factors (GRFs). Our findings indicate that the strength and directionality of RSC action on promoter nucleosomes depends on the arrangement and proximity of two specific DNA motifs. This, together with the effect on nucleosome position observed in double depletion experiments, suggests that, despite their widespread co-localization, RSC and GRFs predominantly act through independent signals to generate accessible chromatin. Our results provide mechanistic insight into how the promoter DNA sequence instructs trans-acting factors to control nucleosome architecture and stimulate transcription initiation.
Rif1 Binding and Control of Chromosome-Internal DNA Replication Origins Is Limited by Telomere Sequestration.
Cell Rep, 2018 Apr 24; 23 (4): 983-992
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae telomere-binding protein Rif1 plays an evolutionarily conserved role in control of DNA replication timing by promoting PP1-dependent dephosphorylation of replication initiation factors. However, ScRif1 binding outside of telomeres has never been detected, and it has thus been unclear whether Rif1 acts directly on the replication origins that it controls. Here, we show that, in unperturbed yeast cells, Rif1 primarily regulates late-replicating origins within 100 kb of a telomere. Using the chromatin endogenous cleavage ChEC-seq technique, we robustly detect Rif1 at late-replicating origins that we show are targets of its inhibitory action. Interestingly, abrogation of Rif1 telomere association by mutation of its Rap1-binding module increases Rif1 binding and origin inhibition elsewhere in the genome. Our results indicate that Rif1 inhibits replication initiation by interacting directly with origins and suggest that Rap1-dependent sequestration of Rif1 increases its effective concentration near telomeres, while limiting its action at chromosome-internal sites.
Rif1 maintains telomeres and mediates DNA repair by encasing DNA ends.
Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2017 Jul; 24 (7): 588-595
In yeast, Rif1 is part of the telosome, where it inhibits telomerase and checkpoint signaling at chromosome ends. In mammalian cells, Rif1 is not telomeric, but it suppresses DNA end resection at chromosomal breaks, promoting repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). Here, we describe crystal structures for the uncharacterized and conserved ∼125-kDa N-terminal domain of Rif1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Rif1-NTD), revealing an α-helical fold shaped like a shepherd's crook. We identify a high-affinity DNA-binding site in the Rif1-NTD that fully encases DNA as a head-to-tail dimer. Engagement of the Rif1-NTD with telomeres proved essential for checkpoint control and telomere length regulation. Unexpectedly, Rif1-NTD also promoted NHEJ at DNA breaks in yeast, revealing a conserved role of Rif1 in DNA repair. We propose that tight associations between the Rif1-NTD and DNA gate access of processing factors to DNA ends, enabling Rif1 to mediate diverse telomere maintenance and DNA repair functions.
Nucleosome Stability Distinguishes Two Different Promoter Types at All Protein-Coding Genes in Yeast.
Mol Cell, 2015 Nov 5; 60 (3): 422-434
Previous studies indicate that eukaryotic promoters display a stereotypical chromatin landscape characterized by a well-positioned +1 nucleosome near the transcription start site and an upstream -1 nucleosome that together demarcate a nucleosome-free (or -depleted) region. Here we present evidence that there are two distinct types of promoters distinguished by the resistance of the -1 nucleosome to micrococcal nuclease digestion. These different architectures are characterized by two sequence motifs that are broadly deployed at one set of promoters where a nuclease-sensitive ("fragile") nucleosome forms, but concentrated in a narrower, nucleosome-free region at all other promoters. The RSC nucleosome remodeler acts through the motifs to establish stable +1 and -1 nucleosome positions, while binding of a small set of general regulatory (pioneer) factors at fragile nucleosome promoters plays a key role in their destabilization. We propose that the fragile nucleosome promoter architecture is adapted for regulation of highly expressed, growth-related genes.
Two distinct promoter architectures centered on dynamic nucleosomes control ribosomal protein gene transcription.
Genes Dev, 2014 Aug 1; 28 (15): 1695-1709
In yeast, ribosome production is controlled transcriptionally by tight coregulation of the 138 ribosomal protein genes (RPGs). RPG promoters display limited sequence homology, and the molecular basis for their coregulation remains largely unknown. Here we identify two prevalent RPG promoter types, both characterized by upstream binding of the general transcription factor (TF) Rap1 followed by the RPG-specific Fhl1/Ifh1 pair, with one type also binding the HMG-B protein Hmo1. We show that the regulatory properties of the two promoter types are remarkably similar, suggesting that they are determined to a large extent by Rap1 and the Fhl1/Ifh1 pair. Rapid depletion experiments allowed us to define a hierarchy of TF binding in which Rap1 acts as a pioneer factor required for binding of all other TFs. We also uncovered unexpected features underlying recruitment of Fhl1, whose forkhead DNA-binding domain is not required for binding at most promoters, and Hmo1, whose binding is supported by repeated motifs. Finally, we describe unusually micrococcal nuclease (MNase)-sensitive nucleosomes at all RPG promoters, located between the canonical +1 and -1 nucleosomes, which coincide with sites of Fhl1/Ifh1 and Hmo1 binding. We speculate that these "fragile" nucleosomes play an important role in regulating RPG transcriptional output.
Rif1 controls DNA replication timing in yeast through the PP1 phosphatase Glc7.
Cell Rep, 2014 Apr 10; 7 (1): 62-69
The Rif1 protein, originally identified as a telomere-binding factor in yeast, has recently been implicated in DNA replication control from yeast to metazoans. Here, we show that budding yeast Rif1 protein inhibits activation of prereplication complexes (pre-RCs). This inhibitory function requires two N-terminal motifs, RVxF and SILK, associated with recruitment of PP1 phosphatase (Glc7). In G1 phase, we show both that Glc7 interacts with Rif1 in an RVxF/SILK-dependent manner and that two proteins implicated in pre-RC activation, Mcm4 and Sld3, display increased Dbf4-dependent kinase (DDK) phosphorylation in rif1 mutants. Rif1 also interacts with Dbf4 in yeast two-hybrid assays, further implicating this protein in direct modulation of pre-RC activation through the DDK. Finally, we demonstrate Rif1 RVxF/SILK motif-dependent recruitment of Glc7 to telomeres and earlier replication of these regions in cells where the motifs are mutated. Our data thus link Rif1 to negative regulation of replication origin firing through recruitment of the Glc7 phosphatase.
Rif1 and Rif2 shape telomere function and architecture through multivalent Rap1 interactions.
Cell, 2013 Jun 6; 153 (6): 1340-1353
Yeast telomeres comprise irregular TG₁₋₃ DNA repeats bound by the general transcription factor Rap1. Rif1 and Rif2, along with Rap1, form the telosome, a protective cap that inhibits telomerase, counteracts SIR-mediated transcriptional silencing, and prevents inadvertent recognition of telomeres as DNA double-strand breaks. We provide a molecular, biochemical, and functional dissection of the protein backbone at the core of the yeast telosome. The X-ray structures of Rif1 and Rif2 bound to the Rap1 C-terminal domain and that of the Rif1 C terminus are presented. Both Rif1 and Rif2 have separable and independent Rap1-binding epitopes, allowing Rap1 binding over large distances (42-110 Å). We identify tetramerization (Rif1) and polymerization (Rif2) modules that, in conjunction with the long-range binding, give rise to a higher-order architecture that interlinks Rap1 units. This molecular Velcro relies on Rif1 and Rif2 to recruit and stabilize Rap1 on telomeric arrays and is required for telomere homeostasis in vivo.
Massively parallel measurements of molecular interaction kinetics on a microfluidic platform.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Oct 9; 109 (41): 16540-16545
Quantitative biology requires quantitative data. No high-throughput technologies exist capable of obtaining several hundred independent kinetic binding measurements in a single experiment. We present an integrated microfluidic device (k-MITOMI) for the simultaneous kinetic characterization of 768 biomolecular interactions. We applied k-MITOMI to the kinetic analysis of transcription factor (TF)-DNA interactions, measuring the detailed kinetic landscapes of the mouse TF Zif268, and the yeast TFs Tye7p, Yox1p, and Tbf1p. We demonstrated the integrated nature of k-MITOMI by expressing, purifying, and characterizing 27 additional yeast transcription factors in parallel on a single device. Overall, we obtained 2,388 association and dissociation curves of 223 unique molecular interactions with equilibrium dissociation constants ranging from 2 × 10(-6) M to 2 × 10(-9) M, and dissociation rate constants of approximately 6 s(-1) to 8.5 × 10(-3) s(-1). Association rate constants were uniform across 3 TF families, ranging from 3.7 × 10(6) M(-1) s(-1) to 9.6 × 10(7) M(-1) s(-1), and are well below the diffusion limit. We expect that k-MITOMI will contribute to our quantitative understanding of biological systems and accelerate the development and characterization of engineered systems.
Anticheckpoint pathways at telomeres in yeast.
Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2012 Feb 12; 19 (3): 307-313
Telomeres hide (or 'cap') chromosome ends from DNA-damage surveillance mechanisms that arrest the cell cycle and promote repair, but the checkpoint status of telomeres is not well understood. Here we characterize the response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) flanked by varying amounts of telomeric repeat sequences (TG(1-3)). We show that even short arrays of TG(1-3) repeats do not induce G2/M arrest. Both Rif1 and Rif2 are required for capping at short, rapidly elongating ends, yet are largely dispensable for protection of longer telomeric arrays. Rif1 and Rif2 act through parallel pathways to block accumulation of both RPA and Rad24, activators of checkpoint kinase Mec1 (ATR). Finally, we show that Rif function is correlated with an 'anticheckpoint' effect, in which checkpoint recovery at an adjacent unprotected end is stimulated, and we provide insight into the molecular mechanism of this phenomenon.
DNA-end capping by the budding yeast transcription factor and subtelomeric binding protein Tbf1.
EMBO J, 2012 Jan 4; 31 (1): 138-149
Telomere repeats in budding yeast are maintained at a constant average length and protected ('capped'), in part, by mechanisms involving the TG(1-3) repeat-binding protein Rap1. However, metazoan telomere repeats (T(2)AG(3)) can be maintained in yeast through a Rap1-independent mechanism. Here, we examine the dynamics of capping and telomere formation at an induced DNA double-strand break flanked by varying lengths of T(2)AG(3) repeats. We show that a 60-bp T(2)AG(3) repeat array induces a transient G2/M checkpoint arrest, but is rapidly elongated by telomerase to generate a stable T(2)AG(3)/TG(1-3) hybrid telomere. In contrast, a 230-bp T(2)AG(3) array induces neither G2/M arrest nor telomerase elongation. This capped state requires the T(2)AG(3)-binding protein Tbf1, but is independent of two Tbf1-interacting factors, Vid22 and Ygr071c. Arrays of binding sites for three other subtelomeric or Myb/SANT domain-containing proteins fail to display a similar end-protection effect, indicating that Tbf1 capping is an evolved function. Unexpectedly, we observed strong telomerase association with non-telomeric ends, whose elongation is blocked by a Mec1-dependent mechanism, apparently acting at the level of Cdc13 binding.