SWI/SNF and RSC cooperate to reposition and evict promoter nucleosomes at highly expressed genes in yeast

Yashpal Rawal, Răzvan V. Chereji, Hongfang Qiu, Sudha Ananthakrishnan, Chhabi K. Govind, David J. Clark, Alan G. Hinnebusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The nucleosome remodeling complex RSC functions throughout the yeast genome to set the positions of −1 and +1 nucleosomes and thereby determines the widths of nucleosome-depleted regions (NDRs). The related complex SWI/ SNF participates in nucleosome remodeling/eviction and promoter activation at certain yeast genes, including those activated by transcription factor Gcn4, but did not appear to function broadly in establishing NDRs. By analyzing the large cohort of Gcn4-induced genes in mutants lacking the catalytic subunits of SWI/SNF or RSC, we uncovered cooperation between these remodelers in evicting nucleosomes from different locations in the promoter and repositioning the +1 nucleosome downstream to produce wider NDRs—highly depleted of nucleosomes—during transcriptional activation. SWI/SNF also functions on a par with RSC at the most highly transcribed constitutively expressed genes, suggesting general cooperation by these remodelers for maximal transcription. SWI/SNF and RSC occupancies are greatest at the most highly expressed genes, consistent with their cooperative functions in nucleosome remodeling and transcriptional activation. Thus, SWI/SNF acts comparably with RSC in forming wide nu-cleosome-free NDRs to achieve high-level transcription but only at the most highly expressed genes exhibiting the greatest SWI/SNF occupancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-710
Number of pages16
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Nucleosome
  • RSC
  • Transcription
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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