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Nucleosome sliding mechanisms: new twists in a looped history

Abstract

Nucleosomes, the basic organizational units of chromatin, package and regulate eukaryotic genomes. ATP-dependent nucleosome-remodeling factors endow chromatin with structural flexibility by promoting assembly or disruption of nucleosomes and the exchange of histone variants. Furthermore, most remodeling factors induce nucleosome movements through sliding of histone octamers on DNA. We summarize recent progress toward unraveling the basic nucleosome sliding mechanism and the interplay of the remodelers' DNA translocases with accessory domains. Such domains optimize and regulate the basic sliding reaction and exploit sliding to achieve diverse structural effects, such as nucleosome positioning or eviction, or the regular spacing of nucleosomes in chromatin.

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Figure 1: Schematic family tree illustrating the classification of nucleosome-remodeling ATPases of the Snf2 family according to their relatedness at the sequence level.
Figure 2: The different physiological outcomes of nucleosome sliding.
Figure 3: Nucleosome sliding mechanisms.
Figure 4: Recent insights into nucleosome sliding by remodeling factors of the ISWI subfamily.
Figure 5: Model for the regulation of the activity of ISWI-type remodeling enzymes.

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Acknowledgements

Work on nucleosome remodeling in the laboratories of F.M.-P. and P.B.B. is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through SFB 594 as well as grants MU3613/1-1, BE1140/6 and BE1140/7.

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Mueller-Planitz, F., Klinker, H. & Becker, P. Nucleosome sliding mechanisms: new twists in a looped history. Nat Struct Mol Biol 20, 1026–1032 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.2648

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