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J Struct Biol. 2008 Dec;164(3):263-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Three-dimensional structure of human chromatin accessibility complex hCHRAC by electron microscopy.

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  • 1Biology Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bldg. 463, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes modulate the dynamic assembly and remodeling of chromatin involved in DNA transcription, replication, and repair. There is little structural detail known about these important multiple-subunit enzymes that catalyze chromatin remodeling processes. Here we report a three-dimensional structure of the human chromatin accessibility complex, hCHRAC, using single particle reconstruction by negative stain electron microscopy. This structure shows an asymmetric 15x10x12nm disk shape with several lobes protruding out of its surfaces. Based on the factors of larger contact area, smaller steric hindrance, and direct involvement of hCHRAC in interactions with the nucleosome, we propose that four lobes on one side form a multiple-site contact surface 10nm in diameter for nucleosome binding. This work provides the first determination of the three-dimensional structure of the ISWI-family of chromatin remodeling complexes.

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