Rossetto D, Cramet M, Wang AY, Steunou AL, Lacoste N, Schulze JM, Côté V, Monnet-Saksouk J, Piquet S, Nourani A, Kobor MS, Côté J
The NuA4 histone acetyltransferase complex is required for gene regulation, cell cycle progression, and DNA repair. Dissection of the 13-subunit complex reveals that the Eaf7 subunit bridges Eaf5 with Eaf3, a H3K36me3-binding chromodomain protein, and this Eaf5/7/3 trimer is anchored to NuA4 through Eaf5. This trimeric subcomplex represents a functional module, and a large portion exists in a native form outside the NuA4 complex. Gene-specific and genome-wide location analyses indicate that Eaf5/7/3 correlates with transcription activity and is enriched over the coding region. In agreement with a role in transcription elongation, the Eaf5/7/3 trimer interacts with phosphorylated RNA polymerase II and helps its progression. Loss of Eaf5/7/3 partially suppresses intragenic cryptic transcription arising in set2 mutants, supporting a role in nucleosome destabilization. On the other hand, loss of the trimer leads to an increase of replication-independent histone exchange over the coding region of transcribed genes. Taken together, these results lead to a model where Eaf5/7/3 associates with elongating polymerase to promote the disruption of nucleosomes in its path, but also their refolding in its wake.