Mechanisms of ATP-dependent nucleosome sliding

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2010 Feb;20(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Jan 8.


Chromatin remodelers are multifunctional protein machines that use a conserved ATPase motor to slide nucleosomes along DNA. Nucleosome sliding has been proposed to occur through two mechanisms: twist diffusion and loop/bulge propagation. A central idea for both of these models is that a DNA distortion propagates over the surface of the nucleosome. Recent data from biochemical and single-molecule experiments have expanded our understanding of histone-DNA and remodeler-nucleosome interactions, and called into question some of the basic assumptions on which these models were originally based. Advantages and challenges of several nucleosome sliding models are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Nucleosomes / genetics*
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*


  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • DNA
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases