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Multiple sequence-directed possibilities provide a pool of nucleosome position choices in different states of activity of a gene

Author(s): Vinayachandran Vinesh | Pusarla Rama-Haritha | Bhargava Purnima

Journal: Epigenetics & Chromatin
ISSN 1756-8935

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Genome-wide mappings of nucleosome occupancy in different species have shown presence of well-positioned nucleosomes. While the DNA sequences may help decide their locations, the observed positions in vivo are end-results of chromatin remodeling, the state of gene activity and binding of the sequence-specific factors to the DNA, all of which influence nucleosome positions. Thus, the observed nucleosome locations in vivo do not reflect the true contribution of DNA sequence to the mapped position. Moreover, the naturally occurring nucleosome-positioning sequences are known to guide multiple translational positionings. Results We show that yeast SNR6, a gene transcribed by RNA polymerase III, constitutes nucleosome-positioning sequence. In the absence of a chromatin remodeler or any factor binding, the gene sequence confers a unique rotational phase to nucleosomes in the gene region, and directs assembly of several translationally positioned nucleosomes on ~1.2 kb DNA from the gene locus, including the short ~250 bp gene region. Mapping of all these gene sequence-directed nucleosome positions revealed that the array of nucleosomes in the gene upstream region occupy the same positions as those observed in vivo but the nucleosomes on the gene region can be arranged in three distinct registers. Two of these arrangements differ from each other in the position of only one nucleosome, and match with the nucleosome positions on the gene in repressed and active states in vivo, where the gene-specific factor is known to occupy the gene in both the states. The two positions are interchanged by an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler in vivo. The third register represents the positions which block the access of the factor to the gene promoter elements. Conclusion On a gene locus, multiple nucleosome positions are directed by a gene sequence to provide a pool of possibilities, out of which the preferred ones are selected by the chromatin remodeler and transcription factor of the gene under different states of activity of the gene.
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