Translate this page to:
In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (14)
- Journal of Leukocyte Biology
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Methods in Enzymology
- Chromosome Research : an International Journal on the Molecular, Supramolecular and Evolutionary Aspects of Chromosome Biology
- The Journal of Cell Biology
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
- Nature Cell Biology
- Molecular Cell
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Frontiers in Bioscience : a Journal and Virtual Library
Articles by Yuhong Fan in JoVE
Expression Analysis of Mammalian Linker-histone Subtypes
Magdalena Medrzycki, Yunzhe Zhang, Kaixiang Cao, Yuhong Fan
School of Biology and the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
We describe a set of assays to analyze expression levels of H1 linker histones. mRNA of individual H1 genes are quantitatively measured by random primer based reverse transcription followed by real-time PCR, whereas protein quantification of H1 histones is achieved by HPLC analysis.
Other articles by Yuhong Fan on PubMed
Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Aug, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12149419
Dendritic cells (DC) play a central role in antitumor immune responses. Abnormal differentiation of DC and their inability to stimulate T cells are important factors in tumor escape from immune-system control. However, the mechanisms of this process remain elusive. Here, we have described one possible molecular mechanism that involves replacement linker histone H1 (0). A close association between expression of H1(0) and DC differentiation in vitro has been found. DC production in H1(0) -deficient mice was decreased significantly, whereas generation and function of macrophages, granulocytes, and lymphocytes appear to be normal. However, these mice had a significantly reduced response to vaccination with antigens. Tumor-derived factors considerably reduced H1(0) expression in hematopoietic progenitor cells. We have demonstrated that transcription factor NF-kappaB is involved actively in regulation of H1(0). Thus, H1(0) histone may be an important factor in normal DC differentiation. Tumor-derived factors may inhibit DC differentiation by affecting H1(0) expression.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. May, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12719535
Posttranslational modifications and remodeling of nucleosomes are critical factors in the regulation of transcription. Higher-order folding of chromatin also is likely to contribute to the control of gene expression, but the absence of a detailed description of the structure of the chromatin fiber has impaired progress in this area. Mammalian somatic cells contain a set of H1 linker-histone subtypes, H1 (0) and H1a to H1e, that bind to nucleosome core particles and to the linker DNA between nucleosomes. To determine whether the H1 histone subtypes play differential roles in the regulation of gene expression, we combined mice lacking specific H1 histone subtypes with mice carrying transgenes subject to position effects. Because position effects result from the unique chromatin structure created by the juxtaposition of regulatory elements in the transgene and at the site of integration, transgenes can serve as exquisitely sensitive indicators of chromatin structure. We report that some, but not all, linker histones can attenuate or accentuate position effects. The results suggest that the linker-histone subtypes play differential roles in the control of gene expression and that the sequential arrangement of the linker histones on the chromatin fiber might regulate higher-order chromatin structure and fine-tune expression levels.
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Jul, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12808097
Most eukaryotic cells contain nearly equimolar amounts of nucleosomes and H1 linker histones. Despite their abundance and the potential functional specialization of H1 subtypes in multicellular organisms, gene inactivation studies have failed to reveal essential functions for linker histones in vivo. Moreover, in vitro studies suggest that H1 subtypes may not be absolutely required for assembly of chromosomes or nuclei. By sequentially inactivating the genes for three mouse H1 subtypes (H1c, H1d, and H1e), we showed that linker histones are essential for mammalian development. Embryos lacking the three H1 subtypes die by mid-gestation with a broad range of defects. Triple-H1-null embryos have about 50% of the normal ratio of H1 to nucleosomes. Mice null for five of these six H1 alleles are viable but are underrepresented in litters and are much smaller than their littermates. Marked reductions in H1 content were found in certain tissues of these mice and in another compound H1 mutant. These results demonstrate that the total amount of H1 is crucial for proper embryonic development. Extensive reduction of H1 in certain tissues did not lead to changes in nuclear size, but it did result in global shortening of the spacing between nucleosomes.
Cell. Sep, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 14505568
It is poorly understood how apoptotic signals arising from DNA damage are transmitted to mitochondria, which release apoptogenic factors into the cytoplasm that activate downstream destruction programs. Here, we identify histone H1.2 as a cytochrome c-releasing factor that appears in the cytoplasm after exposure to X-ray irradiation. While all nuclear histone H1 forms are released into the cytoplasm in a p53-dependent manner after irradiation, only H1.2, but not other H1 forms, induced cytochrome c release from isolated mitochondria in a Bak-dependent manner. Reducing H1.2 expression enhanced cellular resistance to apoptosis induced by X-ray irradiation or etoposide, but not that induced by other stimuli including TNF-alpha and UV irradiation. H1.2-deficient mice exhibited increased cellular resistance in thymocytes and the small intestine to X-ray-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that histone H1.2 plays an important role in transmitting apoptotic signals from the nucleus to the mitochondria following DNA double-strand breaks.
Methods in Enzymology. 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14979020
Histone H1 Depletion in Mammals Alters Global Chromatin Structure but Causes Specific Changes in Gene Regulation
Cell. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16377562
Linker histone H1 plays an important role in chromatin folding in vitro. To study the role of H1 in vivo, mouse embryonic stem cells null for three H1 genes were derived and were found to have 50% of the normal level of H1. H1 depletion caused dramatic chromatin structure changes, including decreased global nucleosome spacing, reduced local chromatin compaction, and decreases in certain core histone modifications. Surprisingly, however, microarray analysis revealed that expression of only a small number of genes is affected. Many of the affected genes are imprinted or are on the X chromosome and are therefore normally regulated by DNA methylation. Although global DNA methylation is not changed, methylation of specific CpGs within the regulatory regions of some of the H1 regulated genes is reduced. These results indicate that linker histones can participate in epigenetic regulation of gene expression by contributing to the maintenance or establishment of specific DNA methylation patterns.
Role of Linker Histone in Chromatin Structure and Function: H1 Stoichiometry and Nucleosome Repeat Length
Chromosome Research : an International Journal on the Molecular, Supramolecular and Evolutionary Aspects of Chromosome Biology. 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16506093
Despite a great deal of attention over many years, the structural and functional roles of the linker histone H1 remain enigmatic. The earlier concepts of H1 as a general transcriptional inhibitor have had to be reconsidered in the light of experiments demonstrating a minor effect of H1 deletion in unicellular organisms. More recent work analysing the results of depleting H1 in mammals through genetic knockouts of selected H1 subtypes in the mouse has shown that cells and tissues can tolerate a surprisingly low H1 content. One common feature of H1-depleted nuclei is a reduction in nucleosome repeat length (NRL). Moreover, there is a robust linear relationship between H1 stoichiometry and NRL, suggesting an inherent homeostatic mechanism that maintains intranuclear electrostatic balance. It is also clear that the 1 H1 per nucleosome paradigm for higher eukaryotes is the exception rather than the rule. This, together with the high mobility of H1 within the nucleus, prompts a reappraisal of the role of linker histone as an obligatory chromatin architectural protein.
The Journal of Cell Biology. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17893239
In response to DNA damage, chromatin undergoes a global decondensation process that has been proposed to facilitate genome surveillance. However, the impact that chromatin compaction has on the DNA damage response (DDR) has not directly been tested and thus remains speculative. We apply two independent approaches (one based on murine embryonic stem cells with reduced amounts of the linker histone H1 and the second making use of histone deacetylase inhibitors) to show that the strength of the DDR is amplified in the context of "open" chromatin. H1-depleted cells are hyperresistant to DNA damage and present hypersensitive checkpoints, phenotypes that we show are explained by an increase in the amount of signaling generated at each DNA break. Furthermore, the decrease in H1 leads to a general increase in telomere length, an as of yet unrecognized role for H1 in the regulation of chromosome structure. We propose that slight differences in the epigenetic configuration might account for the cell-to-cell variation in the strength of the DDR observed when groups of cells are challenged with DNA breaks.
Pax5 and Linker Histone H1 Coordinate DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications in the 3' Regulatory Region of the Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Locus
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18644860
The 3' regulatory region (3' RR) of the murine immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) locus contains multiple DNase I-hypersensitive (hs) sites. Proximal sites hs3A, hs1.2, and hs3B are located in an extensive palindromic region and together with hs4 are associated with enhancers involved in the expression and class switch recombination of IgH genes. Distal hs5, -6, and -7 sites located downstream of hs4 comprise a potential insulator for the IgH locus. In pro-B cells, hs4 to -7 are associated with marks of active chromatin, while hs3A, hs1.2, and hs3B are not. Our analysis of DNA methylation-sensitive restriction sites of the 3' RR has revealed a similar modular pattern in pro-B cells; hs4 to -7 sites are unmethylated, while the palindromic region is methylated. This modular pattern of DNA methylation and histone modifications appears to be determined by at least two factors: the B-cell-specific transcription factor Pax5 and linker histone H1. In pre-B cells, a region beginning downstream of hs4 and extending into hs5 showed evidence of allele-specific demethylation associated with the expressed heavy chain allele. Palindromic enhancers become demethylated later in B-cell differentiation, in B and plasma cells.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19093884
Inhibition of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) hold great promise in cancer therapy because of their demonstrated ability to arrest proliferation of nearly all transformed cell types. Of the several structurally distinct small molecule HDACi reported, macrocyclic depsipeptides have the most complex recognition cap-group moieties and present an excellent opportunity for the modulation of the biological activities of HDACi. Unfortunately, the structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies for this class of compounds have been impaired largely because most macrocyclic HDACi known to date comprise complex peptide macrocycles. In addition to retaining the pharmacologically disadvantaged peptidyl backbone, they offer only limited opportunity for side chain modifications. Here, we report the discovery of a new class of macrocyclic HDACi based on the macrolide antibiotics skeletons. SAR studies revealed that these compounds displayed both linker-length and macrolide-type dependent HDAC inhibition activities with IC(50) in the low nanomolar range. In addition, these non-peptide macrocyclic HDACi are more selective against HDACs 1 and 2 relative to HDAC 8, another class I HDAC isoform, and hence have subclass HDAC isoform selectivity.
Nature Cell Biology. Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19151705
The chromodomain helicase DNA-binding (CHD) family of enzymes is thought to regulate gene expression, but their role in the regulation of specific genes has been unclear. Here we show that CHD8 is expressed at a high level during early embryogenesis and prevents apoptosis mediated by the tumour suppressor protein p53. CHD8 was found to bind to p53 and to suppress its transactivation activity. CHD8 promoted the association of p53 and histone H1, forming a trimeric complex on chromatin that was required for inhibition of p53-dependent transactivation and apoptosis. Depletion of CHD8 or histone H1 resulted in p53 activation and apoptosis. Furthermore, Chd8(-/-) mice died early during embryogenesis, manifesting widespread apoptosis, whereas deletion of p53 ameliorated this developmental arrest. These observations reveal a mode of p53 regulation mediated by CHD8, which may set a threshold for induction of apoptosis during early embryogenesis by counteracting p53 function through recruitment of histone H1.
Ring1B Compacts Chromatin Structure and Represses Gene Expression Independent of Histone Ubiquitination
Molecular Cell. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20471950
How polycomb group proteins repress gene expression in vivo is not known. While histone-modifying activities of the polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs) have been studied extensively, in vitro data have suggested a direct activity of the PRC1 complex in compacting chromatin. Here, we investigate higher-order chromatin compaction of polycomb targets in vivo. We show that PRCs are required to maintain a compact chromatin state at Hox loci in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). There is specific decompaction in the absence of PRC2 or PRC1. This is due to a PRC1-like complex, since decompaction occurs in Ring1B null cells that still have PRC2-mediated H3K27 methylation. Moreover, we show that the ability of Ring1B to restore a compact chromatin state and to repress Hox gene expression is not dependent on its histone ubiquitination activity. We suggest that Ring1B-mediated chromatin compaction acts to directly limit transcription in vivo.
The Rhox Homeobox Gene Cluster is Imprinted and Selectively Targeted for Regulation by Histone H1 and DNA Methylation
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Mar, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21245380
Histone H1 is an abundant and essential component of chromatin whose precise role in regulating gene expression is poorly understood. Here, we report that a major target of H1-mediated regulation in embryonic stem (ES) cells is the X-linked Rhox homeobox gene cluster. To address the underlying mechanism, we examined the founding member of the Rhox gene cluster-Rhox5-and found that its distal promoter (Pd) loses H1, undergoes demethylation, and is transcriptionally activated in response to loss of H1 genes in ES cells. Demethylation of the Pd is required for its transcriptional induction and we identified a single cytosine in the Pd that, when methylated, is sufficient to inhibit Pd transcription. Methylation of this single cytosine prevents the Pd from binding GA-binding protein (GABP), a transcription factor essential for Pd transcription. Thus, H1 silences Rhox5 transcription by promoting methylation of one of its promoters, a mechanism likely to extend to other H1-regulated Rhox genes, based on analysis of ES cells lacking DNA methyltransferases. The Rhox cluster genes targeted for H1-mediated transcriptional repression are also subject to another DNA methylation-regulated process: Xp imprinting. Remarkably, we found that only H1-regulated Rhox genes are imprinted, not those immune to H1-mediated repression. Together, our results indicate that the Rhox gene cluster is a major target of H1-mediated transcriptional repression in ES cells and that H1 is a candidate to have a role in Xp imprinting.
Frontiers in Bioscience : a Journal and Virtual Library. 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22201751
H1 linker histones play a key role in facilitating higher order chromatin folding. Emerging evidence suggests that H1 and its multiple variants are important epigenetic factors in modulating chromatin function and gene expression. Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease, ranking the fifth leading cause of all women cancer death due to its poor prognosis and difficulty in early diagnosis. Although epigenetic alterations in ovarian cancers are being appreciated in general, the role of H1 has not been explored. Here, using quantitative RT-PCR assays, we systematically examined the expression of 7 H1 genes in 33 human epithelial ovarian tumors. Whereas the expression of H1.3 was markedly increased, the expression of H10, H1.1, H1.4 and H1x were significantly reduced in malignant adenocarcinomas compared with benign adenomas. Strikingly, ovarian adenocarcinomas and adenomas exhibited characteristic expression patterns, and expression profiling of 7 H1 genes in tumor samples discriminated adenocarcinomas vs. adenomas with high accuracy. These findings indicate that the expression of H1 variants is exquisitely regulated and may serve as potential epigenetic biomarkers for ovarian cancer.