Eukaryotic replication origin licensing, activation and timing are influenced by chromatin but a mechanistic understanding is lacking. Using reconstituted nucleosomal DNA replication assays, we assessed the impact of nucleosomes on replication initiation. To generate distinct nucleosomal landscapes, different chromatin-remodeling enzymes (CREs) were used to remodel nucleosomes on origin-DNA templates. Nucleosomal organization influenced two steps of replication initiation: origin licensing and helicase activation. Origin licensing assays showed that local nucleosome positioning enhanced origin specificity and modulated helicase loading by influencing ORC DNA binding. Interestingly, SWI/SNF- and RSC-remodeled nucleosomes were permissive for origin licensing but showed reduced helicase activation. Specific CREs rescued replication of these templates if added prior to helicase activation, indicating a permissive chromatin state must be established during origin licensing to allow efficient origin activation. Our studies show nucleosomes directly modulate origin licensing and activation through distinct mechanisms and provide insights into the regulation of replication initiation by chromatin.
- Stephen P Bell
- David M MacAlpine
- Craig L Peterson
- Ishara F Azmi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Robert Sclafani, University of Colorado School of Medicine, United States
© 2017, Azmi et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Pancreatic a-cells secrete glucagon, an insulin counter-regulatory peptide hormone critical for the maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Investigation of the function of human a-cells remains a challenge due to the lack of cost-effective purification methods to isolate high-quality a-cells from islets. Here, we use the reaction-based probe diacetylated Zinpyr1 (DA-ZP1) to introduce a novel and simple method for enriching live a-cells from dissociated human islet cells with ~ 95% purity. The a-cells, confirmed by sorting and immunostaining for glucagon, were cultured up to 10 days to form a-pseudoislets. The a-pseudoislets could be maintained in culture without significant loss of viability, and responded to glucose challenge by secreting appropriate levels of glucagon. RNA-sequencing analyses (RNA-seq) revealed that expression levels of key a-cell identity genes were sustained in culture while some of the genes such as DLK1, GSN, SMIM24 were altered in a-pseudoislets in a time-dependent manner. In conclusion, we report a method to sort human primary a-cells with high purity that can be used for downstream analyses such as functional and transcriptional studies.
Eukaryotic cells control inorganic phosphate to balance its role as essential macronutrient with its negative bioenergetic impact on reactions liberating phosphate. Phosphate homeostasis depends on the conserved INPHORS signaling pathway that utilizes inositol pyrophosphates and SPX receptor domains. Since cells synthesize various inositol pyrophosphates and SPX domains bind them promiscuously, it is unclear whether a specific inositol pyrophosphate regulates SPX domains in vivo, or whether multiple inositol pyrophosphates act as a pool. In contrast to previous models, which postulated that phosphate starvation is signaled by increased production of the inositol pyrophosphate 1-IP7, we now show that the levels of all detectable inositol pyrophosphates of yeast, 1-IP7, 5-IP7, and 1,5-IP8, strongly decline upon phosphate starvation. Among these, specifically the decline of 1,5-IP8 triggers the transcriptional phosphate starvation response, the PHO pathway. 1,5-IP8 inactivates the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor Pho81 through its SPX domain. This stimulates the cyclin-dependent kinase Pho85-Pho80 to phosphorylate the transcription factor Pho4 and repress the PHO pathway. Combining our results with observations from other systems, we propose a unified model where 1,5-IP8 signals cytosolic phosphate abundance to SPX proteins in fungi, plants, and mammals. Its absence triggers starvation responses.