The organization of chromatin affects all aspects of nuclear DNA metabolism in eukaryotes. H3.3 is an evolutionarily conserved histone variant and a key substrate for replication-independent chromatin assembly. Elimination of chromatin remodeling factor CHD1 in Drosophila embryos abolishes incorporation of H3.3 into the male pronucleus, renders the paternal genome unable to participate in zygotic mitoses, and leads to the development of haploid embryos. Furthermore, CHD1, but not ISWI, interacts with HIRA in cytoplasmic extracts. Our findings establish CHD1 as a major factor in replacement histone metabolism in the nucleus and reveal a critical role for CHD1 in the earliest developmental instances of genome-scale, replication-independent nucleosome assembly. Furthermore, our results point to the general requirement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - utilizing motor proteins for histone deposition in vivo.
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