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Cell. 2000 Oct 27;103(3):411-22.

Histone H2A.Z regulats transcription and is partially redundant with nucleosome remodeling complexes.

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Department of Microbiology and Cancer Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


Nucleosomes impose a block to transcription that can be overcome in vivo by remodeling complexes such as SNF/SWI and histone modification complexes such as SAGA. Mutations in the major core histones relieve transcriptional repression and bypass the requirement for SNF/SWI and SAGA. We have found that the variant histone H2A.Z regulates gene transcription, and deletion of the gene encoding H2A.Z strongly increases the requirement for SNF/SWI and SAGA. This synthetic genetic interaction is seen at the level of single genes and acts downstream of promoter nucleosome reorganization. H2A.Z is preferentially crosslinked in vivo to intergenic DNA at the PH05 and GAL1 loci, and this association changes with transcriptional activation. These results describe a novel pathway for regulating transcription using variant histones to modulate chromatin structure.

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