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Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 May;37(8):2504-13. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp114. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Mutations to the histone H3 alpha N region selectively alter the outcome of ATP-dependent nucleosome-remodelling reactions.

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  • 1Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.


Mutational analysis of the histone H3 N-terminal region has shown it to play an important role both in chromatin function in vivo and nucleosome dynamics in vitro. Here we use a library of mutations in the H3 N-terminal region to investigate the contribution of this region to the action of the ATP-dependent remodelling enzymes Chd1, RSC and SWI/SNF. All of the enzymes were affected differently by the mutations with Chd1 being affected the least and RSC being most sensitive. In addition to affecting the rate of remodelling by RSC, some mutations prevented RSC from moving nucleosomes to locations in which DNA was unravelled. These observations illustrate that the mechanisms by which different ATP-dependent remodelling enzymes act are sensitive to different features of nucleosome structure. They also show how alterations to histones can affect the products generated as a result of ATP-dependent remodelling reactions.

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