DOI: 1010.0713Jun 2, 2011Paper

Classification of Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoter regions into distinct chromatin classes reveals the existence of nucleosome-depleted hotspots of transcription factor occupancy

Junbai WangHarmen J. Bussemaker


Transcription factors (TF) play an essential role in the cell as locus- and condition-specific recruiters of transcriptional machinery or chromatin-modifying complexes. However, predicting the in vivo profile of TF occupancy along the genome, which depends on complex interactions with other chromatin-associated proteins, from the DNA sequence remains a major challenge. Through careful reanalysis of ChIP-chip data for 138 TFs obtained in rich media, we were able to classify the upstream promoter regions of S. cerevisiae into 15 distinct chromatin types. One of these encompasses 5% of all promoters and is unique in that it is highly occupied by (essentially) all TFs expressed in rich media. These "hotspots" of TF occupancy are strongly nucleosome-depleted and preferentially targeted by chromatin-remodeling complexes and the origin-of-replication complex (ORC). They are also the only chromatin type enriched for predicted Rap1p and Pdr1p binding sites, which we found to work cooperatively with AAA/TTT motifs, known to affect local DNA structure, to reduce nucleosome occupancy. Taken together, our results reveal and characterize a new type of local chromatin structure in yeast.

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