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EMBO J. 1990 Feb;9(2):573-82.

Competition between transcription complex assembly and chromatin assembly on replicating DNA.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


We have used a Xenopus egg extract to show that a competition exists between the assembly of transcription complexes and nucleosomes on replicating 5S DNA. This competition results in the establishment of a transcriptionally repressed state for 5S DNA that is dependent on core histones but not on the precise positioning of the cores. The repression is selective, since satellite I DNA is not significantly repressed under these conditions. We demonstrate that the efficiency of chromatin assembly compared with transcription complex assembly is an important variable in determining gene activity.

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