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Science. 1996 Jul 26;273(5274):513-6.

Persistent site-specific remodeling of a nucleosome array by transient action of the SWI/SNF complex.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Gene Regulation, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-4500, USA.


The SWI/SNF complex participates in the restructuring of chromatin for transcription. The function of the yeast SWI/SNF complex in the remodeling of a nucleosome array has now been analyzed in vitro. Binding of the purified SWI/SNF complex to a nucleosome array disrupted multiple nucleosomes in an adenosine triphosphate-dependent reaction. However, removal of SWI/SNF left a deoxyribonuclease I-hypersensitive site specifically at a nucleosome that was bound by derivatives of the transcription factor Gal4p. Analysis of individual nucleosomes revealed that the SWI/SNF complex catalyzed eviction of histones from the Gal4-bound nucleosomes. Thus, the transient action of the SWI/SNF complex facilitated irreversible disruption of transcription factor-bound nucleosomes.

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