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Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Feb 1;30(3):649-55.

A critical epitope for substrate recognition by the nucleosome remodeling ATPase ISWI.

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Adolf-Butenandt-Institut, Molekularbiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Schillerstrasse 44, 80336 München, Germany.


The ATPase ISWI is the catalytic core of several nucleosome remodeling complexes, which are able to alter histone-DNA interactions within nucleosomes such that the sliding of histone octamers on DNA is facilitated. Dynamic nucleosome repositioning may be involved in the assembly of chromatin with regularly spaced nucleosomes and accessible regulatory sequence elements. The mechanism that underlies nucleosome sliding is largely unresolved. We recently discovered that the N-terminal 'tail' of histone H4 is critical for nucleosome remodeling by ISWI. If deleted, nucleosomes are no longer recognized as substrates and do not stimulate the ATPase activity of ISWI. We show here that the H4 tail is part of a more complex recognition epitope which is destroyed by grafting the H4 N-terminus onto other histones. We mapped the H4 tail requirement to a hydrophilic patch consisting of the amino acids R17H18R19 localized at the base of the tail. These residues have been shown earlier to contact nucleosomal DNA, suggesting that ISWI recognizes an 'epitope' consisting of the DNA-bound H4 tail. Consistent with this hypothesis, the ISWI ATPase is stimulated by isolated H4 tail peptides ISWI only in the presence of DNA. Acetylation of the adjacent K12 and K16 residues impairs substrate recognition by ISWI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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