De novo chromatin assembly into regularly spaced nucleosomal arrays is essential for eukaryotic genome maintenance and inheritance. The Anti-Silencing Function 1 protein (ASF1) has been shown to be a histone chaperone, participating in DNA-replication-coupled nucleosome assembly. We show that mutations in the Drosophila asf1 gene derepress silencing at heterochromatin and that the ASF1 protein has a cell cycle-specific nuclear and cytoplasmic localization. Furthermore, using both genetic and biochemical methods, we demonstrate that ASF1 interacts with the Brahma (SWI/SNF) chromatin-remodelling complex. These findings suggest that ASF1 plays a crucial role in both chromatin assembly and SWI/SNF-mediated chromatin remodelling.
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