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Mol Cell. 2007 Feb 9;25(3):345-55.

Continuous histone H2B and transcription-dependent histone H3 exchange in yeast cells outside of replication.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine, University Medical Centre, Rue Michel-Servet 1, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


We investigated the dynamics of histone-DNA interactions in yeast by using inducible forms of epitope-tagged histones H2B and H3. Chromatin assembly of newly synthesized histones was assessed by chromatin immunoprecipitation in G1-arrested cells to prevent replication-coupled histone incorporation. We find that while histone deposition within a subtelomeric region is strictly linked to DNA replication, histone H2B is continuously incorporated at the promoter and coding regions of both transcriptionally active and inactive loci. In contrast, incorporation of histone H3 occurs only at active genes, being predominant at the promoter and showing a dynamics along the gene that inversely correlates with the average nucleosomal density. Similar results were obtained with N-terminally truncated H2B and H3 variants. We infer that replication-independent incorporation of H2B and H3 are distinct events, each occurring independently of the histone tail, and that nucleosome loss at active promoters reflects a dynamic equilibrium between histone deposition and dissociation.

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