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Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Oct;36(18):5763-72. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn574. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Expanded binding specificity of the human histone chaperone NASP.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The Ohio State Biochemistry Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


NASP (nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein) has been reported to be an H1-specific histone chaperone. However, NASP shares a high degree of sequence similarity with the N1/N2 family of proteins, whose members are H3/H4-specific histone chaperones. To resolve this paradox, we have performed a detailed and quantitative analysis of the binding specificity of human NASP. Our results confirm that NASP can interact with histone H1 and that this interaction occurs with high affinity. In addition, multiple in vitro and in vivo experiments, including native gel electrophoresis, traditional and affinity chromatography assays and surface plasmon resonance, all indicate that NASP also forms distinct, high specificity complexes with histones H3 and H4. The interaction between NASP and histones H3 and H4 is functional as NASP is active in in vitro chromatin assembly assays using histone substrates depleted of H1.

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