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Differential condensation of sister chromatids coordinates with Cdc6 to ensure distinct cell cycle progression in Drosophila male germline stem cell lineage

By Xin Chen, Rajesh Ranjan, Jonathan Snedeker, Matthew Wooten, Carolina Chu, Sabrina Bracer, Taylar Mouton

Posted 09 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.08.434490

Stem cells undergo asymmetric division to produce both a self-renewing stem cell and a differentiating daughter cell. During Drosophila male germline stem cell (GSC) asymmetric division, preexisting old histones H3 and H4 are enriched in the self-renewed stem daughter cell, whereas the newly synthesized H3 and H4 are enriched in the differentiating daughter cell. However, the biological consequences in the two daughter cells resulting from asymmetric histone inheritance remained to be elucidated. In this work, we track both old and new histones throughout GSC cell cycle using high spatial and temporal resolution microscopy. We find several unique features differentiating old versus new histone-enriched sister chromatids, including nucleosome density, chromosomal condensation, and H3 Ser10 phosphorylation. These distinct chromosomal features lead to their differential association with Cdc6, an essential component of the pre-replication complex, which subsequently contributes to asynchronous initiation of DNA replication in the two resulting daughter cells. Disruption of asymmetric histone inheritance abolishes both differential Cdc6 association and asynchronous S-phase entry, demonstrating that asymmetric histone acts upstream of these critical events during cell cycle progression. Furthermore, GSC defects are detected under these conditions, indicating a connection between histone inheritance, cell cycle progression and cell fate decision. Together, these studies reveal that cell cycle remodeling as a crucial biological readout of asymmetric histone inheritance, which precedes and could lead to other well-known readouts such as differential gene expression. This work also enhances our understanding of asymmetric histone inheritance and epigenetic regulation in other stem cells or asymmetrically dividing cells in multicellular organisms.

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