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A proteomic portrait of dinoflagellate chromatin reveals abundant RNA-binding proteins

Beauchemin, Mathieu, Morse, David
Chromosoma 2018 v.127 no.1 pp. 29-43
DNA replication, DNA-binding domains, Miozoa, RNA-binding proteins, cell cycle, chromosome morphology, eukaryotic cells, gene expression, histones, liquid crystals, mass spectrometry, messenger RNA, nucleosomes, organelles, proteomics, transcriptome
Dinoflagellate chromatin is unique among eukaryotes, as the chromosomes are permanently condensed in a liquid crystal state instead of being packed in nucleosomes. However, how it is organized is still an unsolved mystery, in part due to the lack of a comprehensive catalog of dinoflagellate nuclear proteins. Here, we report the results of CHromatin Enrichment for Proteomics (CHEP) followed by shotgun mass spectrometry sequencing of the chromatin-associated proteins from the dinoflagellate Lingulodinum polyedra. Our analysis identified proteins involved in DNA replication and repair, transcription, and mRNA splicing, and showed a low level of contamination by proteins from other organelles. A limited number of proteins containing DNA-binding domains were found, consistent with the lack of diversity of these proteins in dinoflagellate transcriptomes. However, the number of proteins containing RNA-binding domains was unexpectedly high supporting a potential role for this type of protein in mediating gene expression and chromatin organization. We also identified a number of proteins involved in chromosome condensation and cell cycle progression as well as a single histone protein (H4). Our results provide the first detailed look at the nuclear proteins associated with the unusual chromatin structure of dinoflagellate nuclei and provide important insights into the biochemical basis of its structure and function.