Cell cycle-regulated oscillator coordinates core histone gene transcription through histone acetylation

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 30;111(39):14124-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1414024111. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


DNA replication occurs during the synthetic (S) phase of the eukaryotic cell cycle and features a dramatic induction of histone gene expression for concomitant chromatin assembly. Ectopic production of core histones outside of S phase is toxic, underscoring the critical importance of regulatory pathways that ensure proper expression of histone genes. Several regulators of histone gene expression in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are known, yet the key oscillator responsible for restricting gene expression to S phase has remained elusive. Here, we show that suppressor of Ty (Spt)10, a putative histone acetyltransferase, and its binding partner Spt21 are key determinants of S-phase-specific histone gene expression. We show that Spt21 abundance is restricted to S phase in part by anaphase promoting complex Cdc20-homologue 1 (APC(Cdh1)) and that it is recruited to histone gene promoters in S phase by Spt10. There, Spt21-Spt10 enables the recruitment of a cascade of regulators, including histone chaperones and the histone-acetyltransferase general control nonderepressible (Gcn) 5, which we hypothesize lead to histone acetylation and consequent transcription activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Histones / genetics*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • S Phase / genetics*
  • S Phase / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Histones
  • SPT21 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • SPT10 protein, S cerevisiae