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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Jan-Feb;1799(1-2):175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2009.11.010.

Nhp6: a small but powerful effector of chromatin structure in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


The small Nhp6 protein from budding yeast is an abundant protein that binds DNA non-specifically and bends DNA sharply. It contains only a single HMGB domain that binds DNA in the minor groove and a basic N-terminal extension that wraps around DNA to contact the major groove. This review describes the genetic and biochemical experiments that indicate Nhp6 functions in promoting RNA pol III transcription, in formation of preinitiation complexes at promoters transcribed by RNA pol II, and in facilitating the activity of chromatin modifying complexes. The FACT complex may provide a paradigm for how Nhp6 functions with chromatin factors, as Nhp6 allows Spt16-Pob3 to bind to and reorganize nucleosomes in vitro.

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