Chromatin-modifying complex component Nurf55/p55 associates with histones H3 and H4 and polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit Su(z)12 through partially overlapping binding sites

Agnieszka J Nowak, Claudio Alfieri, Christian U Stirnimann, Vladimir Rybin, Florence Baudin, Nga Ly-Hartig, Doris Lindner, Christoph W Müller
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011 July 1, 286 (26): 23388-96
Drosophila Nurf55 is a component of different chromatin-modifying complexes, including the PRC2 (Polycomb repressive complex 2). Based on the 1.75-Å crystal structure of Nurf55 bound to histone H4 helix 1, we analyzed interactions of Nurf55 (Nurf55 or p55 in fly and RbAp48/46 in human) with the N-terminal tail of histone H3, the first helix of histone H4, and an N-terminal fragment of the PRC2 subunit Su(z)12 using isothermal calorimetry and pulldown experiments. Site-directed mutagenesis identified the binding site of histone H3 at the top of the Nurf55 WD40 propeller. Unmodified or K9me3- or K27me3-containing H3 peptides were bound with similar affinities, whereas the affinity for K4me3-containing H3 peptides was reduced. Helix 1 of histone H4 and Su(z)12 bound to the edge of the β-propeller using overlapping binding sites. Our results show similarities in the recognition of histone H4 and Su(z)12 and identify Nurf55 as a versatile interactor that simultaneously contacts multiple partners.

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