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Science. 2003 Aug 22;301(5636):1090-3.

FACT facilitates transcription-dependent nucleosome alteration.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, Division of Nucleic Acids Enzymology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


The FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) complex is required for transcript elongation through nucleosomes by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) in vitro. Here, we show that FACT facilitates Pol II-driven transcription by destabilizing nucleosomal structure so that one histone H2A-H2B dimer is removed during enzyme passage. We also demonstrate that FACT possesses intrinsic histone chaperone activity and can deposit core histones onto DNA. Importantly, FACT activity requires both of its constituent subunits and is dependent on the highly acidic C terminus of its larger subunit, Spt16. These findings define the mechanism by which Pol II can transcribe through chromatin without disrupting its epigenetic status.

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