Interaction with the histone chaperone Vps75 promotes nuclear localization and HAT activity of Rtt109 in vivo.
Modification of histones is critical for the regulation of all chromatin-templated processes. Yeast Rtt109 is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) that acetylates H3 lysines 9, 27 and 56. Rtt109 associates with and is stabilized by Nap1 family histone chaperone Vps75. Our data suggest Vps75 and Nap1 have some overlapping functions despite their different cellular localization and histone binding specificity. We determined that Vps75 contains a classical nuclear localization signal and is imported by Kap60-Kap95. Rtt109 nuclear localization depends on Vps75, and nuclear localization of the Vps75-Rtt109 complex is not critical for Rtt109-dependent functions, suggesting Rtt109 may be able to acetylate nascent histones before nuclear import. To date, the effects of VPS75 deletion on Rtt109 function had not been separated from the resulting Rtt109 degradation; thus, we used an Rtt109 mutant lacking the Vps75-interaction domain that is stable without Vps75. Our data show that in addition to promoting Rtt109 stability, Vps75 binding is necessary for Rtt109 acetylation of the H3 tail. Direct interaction of Vps75 with H3 likely allows Rtt109 access to the histone tail. Furthermore, our genetic interaction data support the idea of Rtt109-independent functions of Vps75. In summary, our data suggest that Vps75 influences chromatin structure by regulating histone modification and through its histone chaperone functions.