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EMBO J. 2004 Sep 1;23(17):3516-26. Epub 2004 Aug 12.

A CAF-1 dependent pool of HP1 during heterochromatin duplication.

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  • 1Institut Curie, Section de Recherche, UMR218 du CNRS, 26, Paris, France.


To investigate how the complex organization of heterochromatin is reproduced at each replication cycle, we examined the fate of HP1-rich pericentric domains in mouse cells. We find that replication occurs mainly at the surface of these domains where both PCNA and chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) are located. Pulse-chase experiments combined with high-resolution analysis and 3D modeling show that within 90 min newly replicated DNA become internalized inside the domain. Remarkably, during this time period, a specific subset of HP1 molecules (alpha and gamma) coinciding with CAF-1 and replicative sites is resistant to RNase treatment. Furthermore, these replication-associated HP1 molecules are detected in Suv39 knockout cells, which otherwise lack stable HP1 staining at pericentric heterochromatin. This replicative pool of HP1 molecules disappears completely following p150CAF-1 siRNA treatment. We conclude that during replication, the interaction of HP1 with p150CAF-1 is essential to promote delivery of HP1 molecules to heterochromatic sites, where they are subsequently retained by further interactions with methylated H3-K9 and RNA.

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