Reference: Tirosh I and Barkai N (2008) Two strategies for gene regulation by promoter nucleosomes. Genome Res 18(7):1084-91

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Abstract


Chromatin structure is central for the regulation of gene expression, but its genome-wide organization is only beginning to be understood. Here, we examine the connection between patterns of nucleosome occupancy and the capacity to modulate gene expression upon changing conditions, i.e. transcriptional plasticity. By analyzing a genome-wide data of nucleosome positioning in yeast, we find that the presence of nucleosomes close to the transcription start site is associated with high transcriptional plasticity, while nucleosomes at more distant upstream positions are negatively correlated with transcriptional plasticity. Based on this, we identify two typical promoter structures associated with low or high plasticity, respectively. The first class is characterized by a relatively large nucleosome free region close to the start site coupled with well-positioned nucleosomes further upstream, whereas the second class displays a more evenly distributed and dynamic nucleosome positioning, with high occupancy close to the start site. The two classes are further distinguished by multiple promoter features, including histone turnover, binding sites location, H2A.Z occupancy, expression noise and expression diversity. Analysis of nucleosome positioning in human promoters reproduce the main observations. Our results suggest two distinct strategies for gene regulation by chromatin, which are selectively employed by different genes.

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Journal Article
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Tirosh I, Barkai N
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