We investigated the effects of histone H1s on DNA replication using Xenopus egg extract. Mouse variants H1c and H10 were assembled onto Xenopus sperm chromatin by the extract during the remodeling that accompanies nuclear decondensation. The association of H1 with chromatin was rapid and concentration dependent. H1-associated chromatin displayed a typical nucleosomal repeat pattern indicating that linker histones are properly positioned along the DNA. The presence of H1 on sperm chromatin reduced both the rate and extent of DNA replication in egg extract. This reduction in rate is due, in part, to a delay in initiation of replication within individual nuclei. Initiation in extract is dependent upon nuclear assembly. Analysis of the assembly process revealed that H1 does not inhibit nuclear membrane formation or the import of nuclear protein, however, it does slow the rate of nuclear lamina formation. This H1-induced delay in lamina assembly is responsible for the delay in initiation as pre-assembled H1-containing nuclei initiate replication at the same time as control nuclei. However, H1 inhibits replication even when lamina assembly is complete suggesting that H1 also affects replication directly. These data indicate that H1 modulates DNA replication through multiple pathways in egg extract.

This content is only available via PDF.