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Cell. 1992 Nov 27;71(5):853-64.

Nucleosome disruption at the yeast PHO5 promoter upon PHO5 induction occurs in the absence of DNA replication.

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Institute for Physiological Chemistry, Universität München, Germany.


Activation of the PHO5 gene in S. cerevisiae by phosphate starvation was previously shown to be accompanied by the disappearance of four positioned nucleosomes from the promoter. To investigate the mechanism, we replaced the PHO80 gene, a negative regulator of PHO5, by a temperature-sensitive allele. As a consequence, PHO5 can be activated in the presence of phosphate by a temperature shift from 24 degrees C to 37 degrees C. Under these conditions, the promoter undergoes the same chromatin transition as in phosphate-starved cells. Disruption of the nucleosomes by the temperature shift also occurs when DNA replication is prevented. Nucleosomes re-form when the temperature is shifted from 37 degrees C back to 24 degrees C in nondividing cells. Glucose is required for the disruption of the nucleosomes during the temperature upshift, not for their re-formation during the temperature downshift. These experiments prove that DNA replication is not required for the transition between the nucleosomal and the non-nucleosomal state at the PHO5 promoter.

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