Precise positioning of nucleosomes around regulatory sites is achieved by the action of chromatin remodelers, which use the energy of ATP to slide, evict or change the composition of nucleosomes. Chromatin remodelers act to bind nucleosomes, disrupt histone-DNA interactions and translocate the DNA around the histone core to reposition nucleosomes. Hence, remodeling is expected to involve nucleosomal intermediates with a structural organization that is distinct from intact nucleosomes. We describe the identification of a partially unwrapped nucleosome structure using methods that map histone-DNA contacts genome-wide. This alternative nucleosome structure is likely formed as an intermediate or by-product during nucleosome remodeling by the RSC complex. Identification of the loss of histone-DNA contacts during chromatin remodeling by RSC in vivo has implications for the regulation of transcriptional initiation.
Keywords: ChIP-seq; H4S47C cleavage mapping; MNase-seq; RSC; chromatin remodeling; nucleosomal intermediate; nucleosome.