Dec 17, 2016

Nucleosome fragility is associated with future transcriptional response to developmental cues and stress in C. elegans

Genome Research
Tess E Jeffers, Jason D Lieb

Abstract

Nucleosomes have structural and regulatory functions in all eukaryotic DNA-templated processes. The position of nucleosomes on DNA and the stability of the underlying histone-DNA interactions affect the access of regulatory proteins to DNA. Both stability and position are regulated through DNA sequence, histone post-translational modifications, histone variants, chromatin remodelers, and transcription factors. Here, we explored the functional implications of nucleosome properties on gene expression and development in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. We performed a time-course of micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion and measured the relative sensitivity or resistance of nucleosomes throughout the genome. Fragile nucleosomes were defined by nucleosomal DNA fragments that were recovered preferentially in early MNase-digestion time points. Nucleosome fragility was strongly and positively correlated with the AT content of the underlying DNA sequence. There was no correlation between promoter nucleosome fragility and the levels of histone modifications or histone variants. Genes with fragile nucleosomes in their promoters tended to be lowly expressed and expressed in a context-specific way, operating in neuronal response, the immune...Continue Reading

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  • Citations3

Mentioned in this Paper

Calcinus elegans
Embryo
Cyartonema elegans
Coleonyx elegans
Immune System
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Positioning Attribute
Nucleosomes
Histone antigen
Micrococcal Nuclease

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