Vps75 is a histone chaperone that has been historically characterized as homodimer by X-ray crystallography. In this study, we present a crystal structure containing two related tetrameric forms of Vps75 within the crystal lattice. We show Vps75 associates with histones in multiple oligomers. In the presence of equimolar H3–H4 and Vps75, the major species is a reconfigured Vps75 tetramer bound to a histone H3–H4 tetramer. However, in the presence of excess histones, a Vps75 dimer bound to a histone H3–H4 tetramer predominates. We show the Vps75–H3–H4 interaction is compatible with the histone chaperone Asf1 and deduce a structural model of the Vps75–Asf1-H3–H4 (VAH) co-chaperone complex using the Pulsed Electron-electron Double Resonance (PELDOR) technique and cross-linking MS/MS distance restraints. The model provides a molecular basis for the involvement of both Vps75 and Asf1 in Rtt109 catalysed histone H3 K9 acetylation. In the absence of Asf1 this model can be used to generate a complex consisting of a reconfigured Vps75 tetramer bound to a H3–H4 tetramer. This provides a structural explanation for many of the complexes detected biochemically and illustrates the ability of Vps75 to interact with dimeric or tetrameric H3–H4 using the same interaction surface.
Hammond, C. M., Sundaramoorthy, R., Larance, M., Lamond, A., Stevens, M. A., El-Mkami, H., Norman, D., & Owen-Hughes, T. (2016). The histone chaperone Vps75 forms multiple oligomeric assemblies capable of mediating exchange between histone H3–H4 tetramers and Asf1–H3–H4 complexes. Nucleic Acids Research, 44(13), 6157-6172. https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw209