Svensson JP, Shukla M, Menendez-Benito V, Norman-Axelsson U, Audergon P, Sinha I, Tanny JC, Allshire RC, Ekwall K
Genome Res. 25 (6) 872-883 [2015-06-00; online 2015-03-18]
Nucleosome composition actively contributes to chromatin structure and accessibility. Cells have developed mechanisms to remove or recycle histones, generating a landscape of differentially aged nucleosomes. This study aimed to create a high-resolution, genome-wide map of nucleosome turnover in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The recombination-induced tag exchange (RITE) method was used to study replication-independent nucleosome turnover through the appearance of new histone H3 and the disappearance or preservation of old histone H3. The genome-wide location of histones was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation-exonuclease methodology (ChIP-exo). The findings were compared with diverse chromatin marks, including histone variant H2A.Z, post-translational histone modifications, and Pol II binding. Finally, genome-wide mapping of the methylation states of H4K20 was performed to determine the relationship between methylation (mono, di, and tri) of this residue and nucleosome turnover. Our analysis showed that histone recycling resulted in low nucleosome turnover in the coding regions of active genes, stably expressed at intermediate levels. High levels of transcription resulted in the incorporation of new histones primarily at the end of transcribed units. H4K20 was methylated in low-turnover nucleosomes in euchromatic regions, notably in the coding regions of long genes that were expressed at low levels. This transcription-dependent accumulation of histone methylation was dependent on the histone chaperone complex FACT. Our data showed that nucleosome turnover is highly dynamic in the genome and that several mechanisms are at play to either maintain or suppress stability. In particular, we found that FACT-associated transcription conserves histones by recycling them and is required for progressive H4K20 methylation.