University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

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Program in Systems Biology; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

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Article Preprint


Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Cell Biology | Molecular Biology | Structural Biology | Systems Biology


DNA loop extrusion by condensins and decatenation by DNA topoisomerase II (topo II) drive mitotic chromosome compaction and individualization. Here, we reveal that the linker histone H1.8 regulates chromatin levels of condensins and topo II. In vitro chromatin reconstitution experiments demonstrate that H1.8 inhibits binding of condensins and topo II to nucleosome arrays. Accordingly, H1.8 depletion in Xenopus egg extracts increased condensins and topo II levels on mitotic chromatin. Chromosome morphology and Hi-C analyses suggest that H1.8 depletion makes chromosomes thinner and longer likely through shortening the average loop size and reducing DNA amount in each layer of mitotic loops. Furthermore, H1.8-mediated suppression of condensins and topo II binding to chromatin limits chromosome individualization by preventing resolution of interchromosomal linkages. While linker histones locally compact DNA by clustering nucleosomes, we propose that H1.8 controls chromosome morphology and topological organization through restricting the loading of condensins and topo II on chromatin.


Cell Biology, histones, DNA topoisomerase II, chromatin, condensins, chromosomes

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bioRxiv 2020.12.20.423657; doi: Link to preprint on bioRxiv.


This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.