Mechanisms that can alter nucleosome structure to enhance DNA accessibility are of great interest because of their potential involvement in genomic processes. One such mechanism is H2A/H2B release from nucleosomes; it occurs in vivo and is involved in the in vitro activities of several transcription- associated complexes. Using fluorescence approaches based on Förster resonance energy transfer, we previously detected sequence-dependent structure/stability variations between 5S and two types of promoter nucleosomes (from yeast GAL10 or mouse mammary tumor virus promoters). Those variations included differing responses when nucleosomes were diluted to concentrations (sub-nM) known to produce H2A/H2B loss. Here, we show that treatment of these same three types of nucleosomes with the histone chaperone yNAP-1, which causes H2A/H2B release from nucleosomes in vitro, produces the same differential Förster resonance energy transfer responses, again demonstrating sequence-dependent variations associated with conditions that produce H2A/H2B loss. Single-molecule population data indicate that DNA dynamics on the particles produced by diluting nucleosomes to sub-nM concentrations follow two-state behavior. Rate information (determined by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy) suggests that these dynamics are enhanced in MMTV-B or GAL10 compared to 5S particles. Taken together, the results indicate that H2A/H2B loss has differing effects on 5S compared to these two promoter nucleosomes and the differences reflect sequence-dependent structure/stability variations in the depleted particles.
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