Nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (NASP), a linker histone chaperone that is required for cell proliferation

Richard T. Richardson, Oleg M. Alekseev, Gail Grossman, Esther E. Widgren, Randy Thresher, Eric J. Wagner, Kelly D. Sullivan, William F. Marzluff, Michael G. O'Rand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


A multichaperone nucleosome-remodeling complex that contains the H1 linker histone chaperone nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (NASP) has recently been described. Linker histones (H1) are required for the proper completion of normal development, and NASP transports H1 histones into nuclei and exchanges H1 histones with DNA. Consequently, we investigated whether NASP is required for normal cell cycle progression and development. We now report that without sufficient NASP, HeLa cells and U2OS cells are unable to replicate their DNA and progress through the cell cycle and that the NASP-/- null mutation causes embryonic lethality. Although the null mutation NASP-/- caused embryonic lethality, null embryos survive until the blastocyst stage, which may be explained by the presence of stored NASP protein in the cytoplasm of oocytes. We conclude from this study that NASP and therefore the linker histones are key players in the assembly of chromatin after DNA replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21526-21534
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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