Histones are abundant cellular proteins but, if not incorporated into chromatin, they are usually bound by histone chaperones. Here, we identify Arabidopsis NASP as a chaperone for histones H3.1 and H3.3. NASP interacts in vitro with monomeric H3.1 and H3.3 as well as with histone H3.1-H4 and H3.3-H4 dimers. However, NASP does not bind to monomeric H4. NASP shifts the equilibrium between histone dimers and tetramers towards tetramers but does not interact with tetramers in vitro. Arabidopsis NASP promotes [H3-H4]2 tetrasome formation, possibly by providing preassembled histone tetramers. However, NASP does not promote disassembly of in vitro preassembled tetrasomes. In contrast to its mammalian homolog, Arabidopsis NASP is a predominantly nuclear protein. In vivo, NASP binds mainly monomeric H3.1 and H3.3. Pulldown experiments indicated that NASP may also interact with the histone chaperone MSI1 and a HSC70 heat shock protein.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; chaperone; chromatin; histone; nucleosome.
© 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.