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Genes Dev. 2014 Aug 15;28(16):1815-26. doi: 10.1101/gad.243113.114.

The FACT complex interacts with the E3 ubiquitin ligase Psh1 to prevent ectopic localization of CENP-A.

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Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.
Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA


Centromere identity and its epigenetic maintenance require the incorporation of a histone H3 variant called CENP-A at centromeres. CENP-A mislocalization to ectopic sites may disrupt chromatin-based processes and chromosome segregation, so it is important to uncover the mechanisms by which this variant is exclusively localized to centromeres. Here, we identify a role for the conserved chromatin-modifying complex FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription/transactions) in preventing budding yeast CENP-A(Cse4) mislocalization to euchromatin by mediating its proteolysis. The Spt16 subunit of the FACT complex binds to Psh1 (Pob3/Spt16/histone), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets CENP-A(Cse4) for degradation. The interaction between Psh1 and Spt16 is critical for both CENP-A(Cse4) ubiquitylation and its exclusion from euchromatin. We found that Psh1 cannot efficiently ubiquitylate CENP-A(Cse4) nucleosomes in vitro, suggesting that additional factors must facilitate CENP-A(Cse4) removal from chromatin in vivo. Consistent with this, a Psh1 mutant that cannot associate with FACT has a reduced interaction with CENP-A(Cse4) in vivo. Together, our data identify a previously unknown mechanism to maintain centromere identity and genomic stability through the FACT-mediated degradation of ectopically localized CENP-A(Cse4).


CENP-A; FACT; Psh1; centromere; proteolysis; ubiquitylation

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