Abstract

Precise nucleosome organization at eukaryotic promoters is thought to be generated by multiple chromatin remodeler (CR) enzymes and to affect transcription initiation. Using an integrated analysis of chromatin remodeler binding and nucleosome occupancy following rapid remodeler depletion, we investigated the interplay between these enzymes and their impact on transcription in yeast. We show that many promoters are affected by multiple CRs that operate in concert or in opposition to position the key transcription start site (TSS)-associated +1 nucleosome. We also show that nucleosome movement after CR inactivation usually results from the activity of another CR and that in the absence of any remodeling activity, +1 nucleosomes largely maintain their positions. Finally, we present functional assays suggesting that +1 nucleosome positioning often reflects a trade-off between maximizing RNA polymerase recruitment and minimizing transcription initiation at incorrect sites. Our results provide a detailed picture of fundamental mechanisms linking promoter nucleosome architecture to transcription initiation.

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