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Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Apr;25(7):2698-707.

Promoter occupancy is a major determinant of chromatin remodeling enzyme requirements.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2128 TAMU, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2128, USA.

Erratum in

  • Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;26(1):388.


Chromatin creates transcriptional barriers that are overcome by coactivator activities such as histone acetylation by Gcn5 and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling by SWI/SNF. Factors defining the differential coactivator requirements in the transactivation of various promoters remain elusive. Induction of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae PHO5 promoter does not require Gcn5 or SWI/SNF under fully inducing conditions of no phosphate. We show that PHO5 activation is highly dependent on both coactivators at intermediate phosphate concentrations, conditions that reduce the nuclear concentration of the Pho4 transactivator and severely diminish its association with PHO5 in the absence of Gcn5 or SWI/SNF. Conversely, physiological increases in Pho4 nuclear concentration and binding at PHO5 suppress the need for both Gcn5 and SWI/SNF, suggesting that coactivator redundancy is established at high Pho4 binding site occupancy. Consistent with this, we demonstrate, using chromatin immunoprecipitation, that Gcn5 and SWI/SNF are directly recruited to PHO5 and other strongly transcribed promoters, including GAL1-10, RPL19B, RPS22B, PYK1, and EFT2, which do not require either coactivator for expression. These results show that activator concentration and binding site occupancy play crucial roles in defining the extent to which transcription requires individual chromatin remodeling enzymes. In addition, Gcn5 and SWI/SNF associate with many more genomic targets than previously appreciated.

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