Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Publications patrick-varga-weisz

Title / Authors / Details Open Access Download

ACF chromatin-remodeling complex mediates stress-induced depressive-like behavior.
Sun H, Damez-Werno DM, Scobie KN, Shao NY, Dias C, Rabkin J, Koo JW, Korb E, Bagot RC, Ahn FH, Cahill ME, Labonté B, Mouzon E, Heller EA, Cates H, Golden SA, Gleason K, Russo SJ, Andrews S, Neve R, Kennedy PJ, Maze I, Dietz DM, Allis CD, Turecki G, Varga-Weisz P, Tamminga C, Shen L, Nestler EJ

Improved treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) remains elusive because of the limited understanding of its underlying biological mechanisms. It is likely that stress-induced maladaptive transcriptional regulation in limbic neural circuits contributes to the development of MDD, possibly through epigenetic factors that regulate chromatin structure. We establish that persistent upregulation of the ACF (ATP-utilizing chromatin assembly and remodeling factor) ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complex, occurring in the nucleus accumbens of stress-susceptible mice and depressed humans, is necessary for stress-induced depressive-like behaviors. We found that altered ACF binding after chronic stress was correlated with altered nucleosome positioning, particularly around the transcription start sites of affected genes. These alterations in ACF binding and nucleosome positioning were associated with repressed expression of genes implicated in susceptibility to stress. Together, our findings identify the ACF chromatin-remodeling complex as a critical component in the development of susceptibility to depression and in regulating stress-related behaviors.

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Nature medicine, , 1546-170X, , 2015

PMID: 26390241

A novel phosphate-starvation response in fission yeast requires the endocytic function of Myosin I.
Petrini E, Baillet V, Cridge J, Hogan CJ, Guillaume C, Ke H, Brandetti E, Walker S, Koohy H, Spivakov M, Varga-Weisz P

Endocytosis is essential for uptake of many substances into the cell, but how it links to nutritional signalling is poorly understood. Here we show a novel role for endocytosis in regulating the response to low phosphate in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Loss of function of Myo1, Sla2/End4 or Arp2, proteins involved in the early steps of endocytosis, led to increased proliferation in low phosphate media compared to controls. We show that once cells are deprived of phosphate they undergo a quiescence response that is dependent on the endocytic function of Myo1. Transcriptomic analysis revealed a wide perturbation of gene expression with induction of stress-regulated genes upon phosphate starvation in wildtype but not Δmyo1 cells. Thus, endocytosis plays a pivotal role in mediating the cellular response to nutrients, bridging the external environment and internal molecular functions of the cell.

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Journal of cell science, , 1477-9137, , 2015

PMID: 26345368

Open Access

Chromatin remodeling: a collaborative effort.
Varga-Weisz PD

Nature structural & molecular biology, 21, 1545-9985, 14-6, 2014

PMID: 24389547

SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodeling factor Fun30 supports point centromere function in S. cerevisiae.
M Durand-Dubief, WR Will, E Petrini, D Theodorou, RR Harris, MR Crawford, K Paszkiewicz, F Krueger, RM Correra, AT Vetter, JR Miller, NA Kent, P Varga-Weisz

Budding yeast centromeres are sequence-defined point centromeres and are, unlike in many other organisms, not embedded in heterochromatin. Here we show that Fun30, a poorly understood SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodeling factor conserved in humans, promotes point centromere function through the formation of correct chromatin architecture at centromeres. Our determination of the genome-wide binding and nucleosome positioning properties of Fun30 shows that this enzyme is consistently enriched over centromeres and that a majority of CENs show Fun30-dependent changes in flanking nucleosome position and/or CEN core micrococcal nuclease accessibility. Fun30 deletion leads to defects in histone variant Htz1 occupancy genome-wide, including at and around most centromeres. FUN30 genetically interacts with CSE4, coding for the centromere-specific variant of histone H3, and counteracts the detrimental effect of transcription through centromeres on chromosome segregation and suppresses transcriptional noise over centromere CEN3. Previous work has shown a requirement for fission yeast and mammalian homologs of Fun30 in heterochromatin assembly. As centromeres in budding yeast are not embedded in heterochromatin, our findings indicate a direct role of Fun30 in centromere chromatin by promoting correct chromatin architecture.

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PLoS genetics, 8, 9, e1002974, 2012

PMID: 23028372
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002974

Open Access

Keeping chromatin quiet: how nucleosome remodeling restores heterochromatin after replication.
JE Mermoud, SP Rowbotham, PD Varga-Weisz

Disruption of chromatin organization during replication poses a major challenge to the maintenance and integrity of genome organization. It creates the need to accurately reconstruct the chromatin landscape following DNA duplication but there is little mechanistic understanding of how chromatin based modifications are restored on newly synthesized DNA. ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling activities serve multiple roles during replication and recent work underscores their requirement in the maintenance of proper chromatin organization. A new component of chromatin replication, the SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodeler SMARCAD1, acts at replication sites to facilitate deacetylation of newly assembled histones. Deacetylation is a pre-requisite for the restoration of epigenetic signatures in heterochromatin regions following replication. In this way, SMARCAD1, in concert with histone modifying activities and transcriptional repressors, reinforces epigenetic instructions to ensure that silenced loci are correctly perpetuated in each replication cycle. The emerging concept is that remodeling of nucleosomes is an early event imperative to promote the re-establishment of histone modifications following DNA replication.

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Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 10, 23, 4017-25, 2011

PMID: 22101266
DOI: 10.4161/cc.10.23.18558

Open Access

Maintenance of silent chromatin through replication requires SWI/SNF-like chromatin remodeler SMARCAD1.
SP Rowbotham, L Barki, A Neves-Costa, F Santos, W Dean, N Hawkes, P Choudhary, WR Will, J Webster, D Oxley, CM Green, P Varga-Weisz, JE Mermoud

Epigenetic marks such as posttranslational histone modifications specify the functional states of underlying DNA sequences, though how they are maintained after their disruption during DNA replication remains a critical question. We identify the mammalian SWI/SNF-like protein SMARCAD1 as a key factor required for the re-establishment of repressive chromatin. The ATPase activity of SMARCAD1 is necessary for global deacetylation of histones H3/H4. In this way, SMARCAD1 promotes methylation of H3K9, the establishment of heterochromatin, and faithful chromosome segregation. SMARCAD1 associates with transcriptional repressors including KAP1, histone deacetylases HDAC1/2 and the histone methyltransferase G9a/GLP and modulates the interaction of HDAC1 and KAP1 with heterochromatin. SMARCAD1 directly interacts with PCNA, a central component of the replication machinery, and is recruited to sites of DNA replication. Our findings suggest that chromatin remodeling by SMARCAD1 ensures that silenced loci, such as pericentric heterochromatin, are correctly perpetuated.

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Molecular cell, 42, 3, 285-96, 2011

PMID: 21549307
DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.02.036

Open Access

Insights into how chromatin remodeling factors find their target in the nucleus.
PD Varga-Weisz

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 46, 19611-2, 2010

PMID: 21059914
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1014956107

Open Access

The SNF2-family member Fun30 promotes gene silencing in heterochromatic loci.
A Neves-Costa, WR Will, AT Vetter, JR Miller, P Varga-Weisz

Chromatin regulates many key processes in the nucleus by controlling access to the underlying DNA. SNF2-like factors are ATP-driven enzymes that play key roles in the dynamics of chromatin by remodelling nucleosomes and other nucleoprotein complexes. Even simple eukaryotes such as yeast contain members of several subfamilies of SNF2-like factors. The FUN30/ETL1 subfamily of SNF2 remodellers is conserved from yeasts to humans, but is poorly characterized. We show that the deletion of FUN30 leads to sensitivity to the topoisomerase I poison camptothecin and to severe cell cycle progression defects when the Orc5 subunit is mutated. We demonstrate a role of FUN30 in promoting silencing in the heterochromatin-like mating type locus HMR, telomeres and the rDNA repeats. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that Fun30 binds at the boundary element of the silent HMR and within the silent HMR. Mapping of nucleosomes in vivo using micrococcal nuclease demonstrates that deletion of FUN30 leads to changes of the chromatin structure at the boundary element. A point mutation in the ATP-binding site abrogates the silencing function of Fun30 as well as its toxicity upon overexpression, indicating that the ATPase activity is essential for these roles of Fun30. We identify by amino acid sequence analysis a putative CUE motif as a feature of FUN30/ETL1 factors and show that this motif assists Fun30 activity. Our work suggests that Fun30 is directly involved in silencing by regulating the chromatin structure within or around silent loci.

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PloS one, 4, 12, e8111, 2009

PMID: 19956593
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008111

Open Access

Fission yeast Iec1-ino80-mediated nucleosome eviction regulates nucleotide and phosphate metabolism.
CJ Hogan, S Aligianni, M Durand-Dubief, J Persson, WR Will, J Webster, L Wheeler, CK Mathews, S Elderkin, D Oxley, K Ekwall, PD Varga-Weisz

Ino80 is an ATP-dependent nucleosome-remodeling enzyme involved in transcription, replication, and the DNA damage response. Here, we characterize the fission yeast Ino80 and find that it is essential for cell viability. We show that the Ino80 complex from fission yeast mediates ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling in vitro. The purification of the Ino80-associated complex identified a highly conserved complex and the presence of a novel zinc finger protein with similarities to the mammalian transcriptional regulator Yin Yang 1 (YY1) and other members of the GLI-Krüppel family of proteins. Deletion of this Iec1 protein or the Ino80 complex subunit arp8, ies6, or ies2 causes defects in DNA damage repair, the response to replication stress, and nucleotide metabolism. We show that Iec1 is important for the correct expression of genes involved in nucleotide metabolism, including the ribonucleotide reductase subunit cdc22 and phosphate- and adenine-responsive genes. We find that Ino80 is recruited to a large number of promoter regions on phosphate starvation, including those of phosphate- and adenine-responsive genes that depend on Iec1 for correct expression. Iec1 is required for the binding of Ino80 to target genes and subsequent histone loss at the promoter and throughout the body of these genes on phosphate starvation. This suggests that the Iec1-Ino80 complex promotes transcription through nucleosome eviction.

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Molecular and cellular biology, 30, 3, 657-74, 2010

PMID: 19933844
DOI: 10.1128/MCB.01117-09

Open Access

The regulation of ATP-dependent nucleosome remodelling factors.
C Hogan, P Varga-Weisz

The plasticity of chromatin is governed by multi-subunit protein complexes that enzymatically regulate chromosomal structure and activity. Such complexes include ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling factors that are involved in many fundamental processes such as transcription, DNA repair, replication and chromosome structure maintenance. Because ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling factors play important roles, it is not surprising to find that their functions are regulated in a plethora of ways, including post-translational modifications of their subunits and subunit composition changes. The activity of these enzymes is modulated by many factors, including linker histones, histone variants, histone chaperones, non-histone chromatin constituents such as HMG-proteins and secondary messengers, such as inositolpolyphosphates. Additionally, specific histone modifications and interaction with site-specific transcriptional regulators direct the targeting of these activities. Understanding the network of mechanisms that control ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling will constitute an important challenge towards our understanding of chromatin dynamics.

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Mutation research, 618, 1-2, 41-51, 2007

PMID: 17306842
DOI: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2006.07.010

Regulation of higher-order chromatin structures by nucleosome-remodelling factors.
PD Varga-Weisz, PB Becker

Nucleosome-remodelling factors are key facilitators of chromatin dynamics. At the level of single nucleosomes, they are involved in nucleosome-repositioning, altering histone-DNA interactions, disassembly of nucleosomes, and the exchange of histones with variants of different properties. The fundamental nature of chromatin dictates that nucleosome-remodelling affects all aspects of eukaryotic DNA metabolism, but much less is known about the functional interactions of nucleosome-remodelling factors with folded chromatin fibres. Because remodelling machines are abundant constituents of eukaryotic nuclei and, therefore, have ample potential to interact with chromatin, they might also affect higher-order chromatin architecture. Recent observations support roles for nucleosome-remodelling factors at the supra-nucleosomal level.

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Current opinion in genetics & development, 16, 2, 151-6, 2006

PMID: 16503135
DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2006.02.006