Homodimeric PHD domain-containing Rco1 subunit constitutes a critical interaction hub within the Rpd3S histone deacetylase complex

Chun Ruan, Haochen Cui, Chul Hwan Lee, Sheng Li, Bing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recognition of histone post-translational modifications is pivotal for directing chromatin-modifying enzymes to specific genomic regions and regulating their activities. Emerging evidence suggests that other structural features of nucleosomes also contribute to precise targeting of downstream chromatin complexes, such as linker DNA, the histone globular domain, and nucleosome spacing. However, how chromatin complexes coordinate individual interactions to achieve high affinity and specificity remains unclear. The Rpd3S histone deacetylase utilizes the chromodomain-containing Eaf3 subunit and the PHD domain-containing Rco1 subunit to recognize nucleosomes that are methylated at lysine 36 of histone H3 (H3K36me). We showed previously that the binding of Eaf3 to H3K36me can be allosterically activated by Rco1. To investigate how this chromatin recognition module is regulated in the context of the Rpd3S complex, wefirst determined the subunit interaction network of Rpd3S. Interestingly, we found that Rpd3S contains two copies of the essential subunit Rco1, and both copies of Rco1 are required for full functionality of Rpd3S. Our functional dissection of Rco1 revealed that besides its known chromatin-recognition interfaces, other regions of Rco1 are also critical for Rpd3S to recognize its nucleosomal substrates and function in vivo. This unexpected result uncovered an important and understudied aspect of chromatin recognition. It suggests that precisely reading modified chromatin may not only need the combined actions of reader domains but also requirean internal signaling circuit that coordinates the individual actionsin aproductive way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5428-5438
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 4 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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