Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

Histone chaperone ASF1B promotes human β-cell proliferation via recruitment of histone H3.3.

PMID 27753532


Anti-silencing function 1 (ASF1) is a histone H3-H4 chaperone involved in DNA replication and repair, and transcriptional regulation. Here, we identify ASF1B, the mammalian paralog to ASF1, as a proliferation-inducing histone chaperone in human β-cells. Overexpression of ASF1B led to distinct transcriptional signatures consistent with increased cellular proliferation and reduced cellular death. Using multiple methods of monitoring proliferation and mitotic progression, we show that overexpression of ASF1B is sufficient to induce human β-cell proliferation. Co-expression of histone H3.3 further augmented β-cell proliferation, whereas suppression of endogenous H3.3 attenuated the stimulatory effect of ASF1B. Using the histone binding-deficient mutant of ASF1B (V94R), we show that histone binding to ASF1B is required for the induction of β-cell proliferation. In contrast to H3.3, overexpression of histone H3 variants H3.1 and H3.2 did not have an impact on ASF1B-mediated induction of proliferation. Our findings reveal a novel role of ASF1B in human β-cell replication and show that ASF1B and histone H3.3A synergistically stimulate human β-cell proliferation.