Persistent Site-Specific Remodeling of a Nucleosome Array by Transient Action of the SWI/SNF Complex

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Science  26 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5274, pp. 513-516
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5274.513


The SWI/SNF complex participates in the restructuring of chromatin for transcription. The function of the yeast SWI/SNF complex in the remodeling of a nucleosome array has now been analyzed in vitro. Binding of the purified SWI/SNF complex to a nucleosome array disrupted multiple nucleosomes in an adenosine triphosphate-dependent reaction. However, removal of SWI/SNF left a deoxyribonuclease I-hypersensitive site specifically at a nucleosome that was bound by derivatives of the transcription factor Gal4p. Analysis of individual nucleosomes revealed that the SWI/SNF complex catalyzed eviction of histones from the Gal4-bound nucleosomes. Thus, the transient action of the SWI/SNF complex facilitated irreversible disruption of transcription factor-bound nucleosomes.

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