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PLoS Genet. 2015 Mar 30;11(3):e1005105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005105. eCollection 2015 Mar.

Combinatorial control of light induced chromatin remodeling and gene activation in Neurospora.

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Biochemistry Center, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Institute of Human Genetics, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


Light is an important environmental cue that affects physiology and development of Neurospora crassa. The light-sensing transcription factor (TF) WCC, which consists of the GATA-family TFs WC1 and WC2, is required for light-dependent transcription. SUB1, another GATA-family TF, is not a photoreceptor but has also been implicated in light-inducible gene expression. To assess regulation and organization of the network of light-inducible genes, we analyzed the roles of WCC and SUB1 in light-induced transcription and nucleosome remodeling. We show that SUB1 co-regulates a fraction of light-inducible genes together with the WCC. WCC induces nucleosome eviction at its binding sites. Chromatin remodeling is facilitated by SUB1 but SUB1 cannot activate light-inducible genes in the absence of WCC. We identified FF7, a TF with a putative O-acetyl transferase domain, as an interaction partner of SUB1 and show their cooperation in regulation of a fraction of light-inducible and a much larger number of non light-inducible genes. Our data suggest that WCC acts as a general switch for light-induced chromatin remodeling and gene expression. SUB1 and FF7 synergistically determine the extent of light-induction of target genes in common with WCC but have in addition a role in transcription regulation beyond light-induced gene expression.

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