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Archaeal Histone Tetramerization Determines DNA Affinity and the Direction of DNA Supercoiling


Lurz,  Rudi
Max Planck Society;

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Marc, F., Sandman, K. M., Lurz, R., & Reeve, J. N. (2002). Archaeal Histone Tetramerization Determines DNA Affinity and the Direction of DNA Supercoiling. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(34), 30879-30886.

DNA binding and the topology of DNA have been determined in complexes formed by >20 archaeal histone variants and archaeal histone dimer fusions with residue replacements at sites responsible for histone fold dimer:dimer interactions. Almost all of these variants have decreased affinity for DNA. They have also lost the flexibility of the wild type archaeal histones to wrap DNA into a negative or positive supercoil depending on the salt environment; they wrap DNA into positive supercoils under all salt conditions. The histone folds of the archaeal histones, HMfA and HMfB, from Methanothermus fervidus are almost identical, but (HMfA)2 and (HMfB)2 homodimers assemble into tetramers with sequence-dependent differences in DNA affinity. By construction and mutagenesis of HMfA+HMfB and HMfB+HMfA histone dimer fusions, the structure formed at the histone dimer:dimer interface within an archaeal histone tetramer has been shown to determine this difference in DNA affinity. Therefore, by regulating the assembly of different archaeal histone dimers into tetramers that have different sequence affinities, the assembly of archaeal histone-DNA complexes could be localized and used to regulate gene expression.