Direct interplay among histones, histone chaperones, and a chromatin boundary protein in the control of histone gene expression.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the histone chaperone Rtt106 binds newly synthesized histone proteins and mediates their delivery into chromatin during transcription, replication, and silencing. Rtt106 is also recruited to histone gene regulatory regions by the HIR histone chaperone complex to ensure S-phase-specific expression. Here we showed that this Rtt106:HIR complex included Asf1 and histone proteins. Mutations in Rtt106 that reduced histone binding reduced Rtt106 enrichment at histone genes, leading to their increased transcription. Deletion of the chromatin boundary element Yta7 led to increased Rtt106:H3 binding, increased Rtt106 enrichment at histone gene regulatory regions, and decreased histone gene transcription at the HTA1-HTB1 locus. These results suggested a unique regulatory mechanism in which Rtt106 sensed the level of histone proteins to maintain the proper level of histone gene transcription. The role of these histone chaperones and Yta7 differed markedly among the histone gene loci, including the two H3-H4 histone gene pairs. Defects in silencing in rtt106 mutants could be partially accounted for by Rtt106-mediated changes in histone gene repression. These studies suggested that feedback mediated by histone chaperone complexes plays a pivotal role in regulating histone gene transcription.