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Molecular and Cellular Biology

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Chromatin remodeling at promoters of activated genes spans from mild histone modifications to outright displacement of nucleosomes in trans. Factors affecting these events are not always clear. Our results indicate that histone H3 acetylation associated with histone displacement differs drastically even between promoters of such closely related heat shock genes as HSP12, SSA4, and HSP82. The HSP12 promoter, with the highest level of histone displacement, showed the highest level of H3 acetylation, while the SSA4 promoter, with a lower histone displacement, showed only modest H3 acetylation. Moreover, for the HSP12 promoter, the level of acetylated H3 is temporarily increased prior to nucleosome departure. Individual promoters in strains expressing truncated versions of heat shock factor (HSF) showed that deletion of either one of two activating regions in HSF led to the diminished histone displacement and correspondingly lower H3 acetylation. The deletion of both regions simultaneously severely decreased histone displacement for all promoters tested, showing the dependence of these processes on HSF. The level of histone H3 acetylation at individual promoters in strains expressing truncated HSF also correlated with the extent of histone displacement. The beginning of chromatin remodeling coincides with the polymerase II loading on heat shock gene promoters and is regulated either by HSF binding or activation of preloaded HSF.


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