Preferential occupancy of histone variant H2AZ at inactive promoters influences local histone modifications and chromatin remodeling

Bing Li, Samantha G. Pattenden, Daeyoup Lee, José Gutiérrez, Jie Chen, Chris Seidel, Jennifer Gerton, Jerry L. Workman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

237 Scopus citations


The yeast histone variant H2AZ (Htz1) is implicated in transcription activation, prevention of the ectopic spread of heterochromatin, and genome integrity. Our genome-wide localization analysis revealed that Htz1 is widely, but nonrandomly, distributed throughout the genome in an SWR1-dependent manner. We found that Htz1 is enriched in intergenic regions compared with coding regions. Its occupancy is inversely proportional to transcription rates and the enrichment of the RNA polymerase II under different growth conditions. However, Htz1 does not seem to directly regulate transcription repression genome-wide; instead, the presence of Htz1 under the inactivated condition is essential for optimal activation of a subset of genes. In addition, Htz1 is not generally responsible for nucleosome positioning, even at those promoters where Htz1 is highly enriched. Finally, using a biochemical approach, we demonstrate that incorporation of Htz1 into nucleosomes inhibits activities of histone modifiers associated with transcription, Dot1, Set2, and NuA4 and reduces the nucleosome mobilization driven by chromatin remodeling complexes. These lines of evidence collectively suggest that Htz1 may serve to mark quiescent promoters for proper activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18385-18390
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Nucleosome
  • Transcription
  • htz1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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