The Chaperone FACT and Histone H2B Ubiquitination Maintain S. pombe Genome Architecture through Genic and Subtelomeric Functions

Mol Cell. 2020 Feb 6;77(3):501-513.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.11.016. Epub 2019 Dec 11.


The histone chaperone FACT and histone H2B ubiquitination (H2Bub) facilitate RNA polymerase II (Pol II) passage through chromatin, yet it is not clear how they cooperate mechanistically. We used genomics, genetic, biochemical, and microscopic approaches to dissect their interplay in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that FACT and H2Bub globally repress antisense transcripts near the 5' end of genes and inside gene bodies, respectively. The accumulation of these transcripts is accompanied by changes at genic nucleosomes and Pol II redistribution. H2Bub is required for FACT activity in genic regions. In the H2Bub mutant, FACT binding to chromatin is altered and its association with histones is stabilized, which leads to the reduction of genic nucleosomes. Interestingly, FACT depletion globally restores nucleosomes in the H2Bub mutant. Moreover, in the absence of Pob3, the FACT Spt16 subunit controls the 3' end of genes. Furthermore, FACT maintains nucleosomes in subtelomeric regions, which is crucial for their compaction.

Keywords: FACT; H2B ubiquitination; S. pombe; chromatin structure; histone chaperone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / metabolism*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / genetics
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FACT protein, S cerevisiae
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Histones
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Nucleosomes
  • POB3 protein, S cerevisiae
  • SPT16 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II