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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Nov;23(21):7809-17.

Post-TATA binding protein recruitment clearance of Gcn5-dependent histone acetylation within promoter nucleosomes.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, FORTH, Heraklion 711 10, Crete, Greece.


Transcriptional activation of eukaryotic genes often requires the function of histone acetyltransferases (HATs), which is expected to result in the hyperacetylation of histones within promoter nucleosomes. In this study we show that, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the steady-state levels of Gcn5-dependent histone acetylation within a number of transcriptionally active promoters are inversely related to the rate of transcription. High acetylation levels were measured only when transcription was attenuated either by TATA element mutations or in a strain carrying a temperature-sensitive protein component of RNA polymerase II. In addition, we show that in one case the low levels of histone acetylation depend on the function of the Rpd3 histone deacetylase. These results point to the existence of an unexpected interplay of two opposing histone-modifying activities which operate on promoter nucleosomes following the initiation of RNA synthesis. Such interplay could ensure rapid turnover of chromatin acetylation states in continuously reprogrammed transcriptional systems.

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