Mechanistic insights into histone deposition and nucleosome assembly by the chromatin assembly factor-1

Paul V Sauer, Yajie Gu, Wallace H Liu, Francesca Mattiroli, Daniel Panne, Karolin Luger, Mair Ea Churchill

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Eukaryotic chromatin is a highly dynamic structure with essential roles in virtually all DNA-dependent cellular processes. Nucleosomes are a barrier to DNA access, and during DNA replication, they are disassembled ahead of the replication machinery (the replisome) and reassembled following its passage. The Histone chaperone Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 (CAF-1) interacts with the replisome and deposits H3-H4 directly onto newly synthesized DNA. Therefore, CAF-1 is important for the establishment and propagation of chromatin structure. The molecular mechanism by which CAF-1 mediates H3-H4 deposition has remained unclear. However, recent studies have revealed new insights into the architecture and stoichiometry of the trimeric CAF-1 complex and how it interacts with and deposits H3-H4 onto substrate DNA. The CAF-1 trimer binds to a single H3-H4 dimer, which induces a conformational rearrangement in CAF-1 promoting its interaction with substrate DNA. Two CAF-1•H3-H4 complexes co-associate on nucleosome-free DNA depositing (H3-H4)2 tetramers in the first step of nucleosome assembly. Here, we review the progress made in our understanding of CAF-1 structure, mechanism of action, and how CAF-1 contributes to chromatin dynamics during DNA replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9907-9917
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 02 Nov 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanistic insights into histone deposition and nucleosome assembly by the chromatin assembly factor-1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this