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Title: Archaeal histone-based chromatin structures regulate transcription elongation rates

Many archaea encode and express histone proteins to compact their genomes. Archaeal and eukaryotic histones share a near-identical fold that permits DNA wrapping through select histone-DNA contacts to generate chromatin-structures that must be traversed by RNA polymerase (RNAP) to generate transcripts. As archaeal histones can spontaneously assemble with a single histone isoform, single-histone chromatin variants provide an idealized platform to detail the impacts of distinct histone-DNA contacts on transcription efficiencies and to detail the role of the conserved cleavage stimulatory factor, Transcription Factor S (TFS), in assisting RNAP through chromatin landscapes. We demonstrate that substitution of histone residues that modify histone-DNA contacts or the three-dimensional chromatin structure result in radically altered transcription elongation rates and pausing patterns. Chromatin-barriers slow and pause RNAP, providing regulatory potential. The modest impacts of TFS on elongation rates through chromatin landscapes is correlated with TFS-dispensability from the archaeonThermococcus kodakarensis. Our results detail the importance of distinct chromatin structures for archaeal gene expression and provide a unique perspective on the evolution of, and regulatory strategies imposed by, eukaryotic chromatin.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Communications Biology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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