Nucleosome architecture throughout the cell cycle

Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 28;6:19729. doi: 10.1038/srep19729.


Nucleosomes provide additional regulatory mechanisms to transcription and DNA replication by mediating the access of proteins to DNA. During the cell cycle chromatin undergoes several conformational changes, however the functional significance of these changes to cellular processes are largely unexplored. Here, we present the first comprehensive genome-wide study of nucleosome plasticity at single base-pair resolution along the cell cycle in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We determined nucleosome organization with a specific focus on two regulatory regions: transcription start sites (TSSs) and replication origins (ORIs). During the cell cycle, nucleosomes around TSSs display rearrangements in a cyclic manner. In contrast to gap (G1 and G2) phases, nucleosomes have a fuzzier organization during S and M phases, Moreover, the choreography of nucleosome rearrangements correlate with changes in gene expression during the cell cycle, indicating a strong association between nucleosomes and cell cycle-dependent gene functionality. On the other hand, nucleosomes are more dynamic around ORIs along the cell cycle, albeit with tighter regulation in early firing origins, implying the functional role of nucleosomes on replication origins. Our study provides a dynamic picture of nucleosome organization throughout the cell cycle and highlights the subsequent impact on transcription and replication activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • DNA, Fungal / biosynthesis*
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Nucleosomes / genetics
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Nucleosomes