Dewari PS, Bhargava P
Genome-wide participation and importance of the histone chaperone Asf1 (Anti-Silencing Function 1) in diverse DNA transactions like replication, repair, heterochromatic silencing and transcription are well documented. Yet its genome-wide targets have not been reported. Using ChIP-seq method, we found that yeast Asf1 associates with 590 unique targets including centromeres, telomeres and condensin-binding sites. It is found selectively on highly transcribed regions, which include replication fork pause sites. Asf1 preferentially associates with the genes transcribed by RNA polymerase (pol) III where its presence affects RNA production and replication-independent histone exchange. On pol II-transcribed genes, a negative correlation is found between Asf1 and nucleosome occupancy. It is not enriched on most of the reported sites of histone exchange or on the genes, which are misregulated in the asf1Δ cells. Interestingly, chromosome-wide distributions of Asf1 and one of the condensin subunits, Brn1 show a nearly identical pattern. Moreover, Brn1 shows reduced occupancy at various condensin-binding sites in asf1Δ cells. These results along with high association of Asf1 with heterochromatic centromeres and telomeres ascribe novel roles to Asf1 in condensin loading and chromatin dynamics.