A compiled and systematic reference map of nucleosome positions across the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome.
ABSTRACT: Nucleosomes have position-specific functions in controlling gene expression. A complete systematic genome-wide reference map of absolute and relative nucleosome positions is needed to minimize potential confusion when referring to the function of individual nucleosomes (or nucleosome-free regions) across datasets. We compiled six high-resolution genome-wide maps of Saccharomyces cerevisiae nucleosome positions from multiple labs and detection platforms, and report new insights. Data downloads, reference position assignment software, queries, and a visualization browser are available online http://atlas.bx.psu.edu/.
Project description:The positions of nucleosomes across the genome influence several cellular processes, including gene transcription. However, our understanding of the factors dictating where nucleosomes are located and how this affects gene regulation is still limited. Here, we perform an extensive in vivo study to investigate the influence of the neighboring chromatin structure on local nucleosome positioning and gene expression. Using truncated versions of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae URA3 gene, we show that nucleosome positions in the URA3 promoter are at least partly determined by the local DNA sequence, with so-called 'anti-nucleosomal elements' like poly(dA:dT) tracts being key determinants of nucleosome positions. In addition, we show that changes in the nucleosome positions in the URA3 promoter strongly affect the promoter activity. Most interestingly, in addition to demonstrating the effect of the local DNA sequence, our study provides novel in vivo evidence that nucleosome positions are also affected by the position of neighboring nucleosomes. Nucleosome structure may therefore be an important selective force for conservation of gene order on a chromosome, because relocating a gene to another genomic position (where the positions of neighboring nucleosomes are different from the original locus) can have dramatic consequences for the gene's nucleosome structure and thus its expression.
Project description:Understanding chromatin function requires knowing the precise location of nucleosomes. MNase-seq methods have been widely applied to characterize nucleosome organization in vivo, but generally lack the accuracy to determine the precise nucleosome positions. Here we develop a computational approach leveraging digestion variability to determine nucleosome positions at a base-pair resolution from MNase-seq data. We generate a variability template as a simple error model for how MNase digestion affects the mapping of individual nucleosomes. Applied to both yeast and human cells, this analysis reveals that alternatively positioned nucleosomes are prevalent and create significant heterogeneity in a cell population. We show that the periodic occurrences of dinucleotide sequences relative to nucleosome dyads can be directly determined from genome-wide nucleosome positions from MNase-seq. Alternatively positioned nucleosomes near transcription start sites likely represent different states of promoter nucleosomes during transcription initiation. Our method can be applied to map nucleosome positions in diverse organisms at base-pair resolution.
Project description:The precise placement of nucleosomes has large regulatory effects on gene expression. Recent work suggests that nucleosome placement is regulated in part by the affinity of the underlying DNA sequence for the histone octamer. Nucleosome locations are also regulated by several different ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling enzymes. This raises the question of whether DNA sequence influences the activity of chromatin remodeling enzymes. DNA sequence could most simply regulate nucleosome remodeling through its effect on nucleosome stability. In such a model, unstable nucleosomes would be remodeled faster than stable nucleosomes. It is also possible that certain DNA elements could regulate remodeling by inhibiting the interaction of nucleosomes with the remodeling enzyme. A third possibility is that DNA sequence could regulate the outcome of remodeling by influencing how reaction intermediates collapse into a particular set of stable nucleosomal positions. Here we dissect the contribution from these potential mechanisms to the activities of yeast RSC and human ACF, which are representative members of two major classes of remodeling complexes. We find that varying the histone-DNA affinity over 3 orders of magnitude has negligible effects on the rates of nucleosome remodeling and ATP hydrolysis by these two enzymes. This suggests that the rate-limiting step for nucleosome remodeling may not involve the disruption of histone-DNA contacts. We further find that a specific curved DNA element previously hypothesized to inhibit ACF activity does not inhibit substrate binding or remodeling by ACF. The element, however, does influence the distribution of nucleosome positions generated by ACF. Our data support a model in which remodeling enzymes move nucleosomes to new locations by a general sequence-independent mechanism. However, consequent to the rate-limiting remodeling step, the local DNA sequence promotes a collapse of remodeling intermediates into highly resolved positions that are dictated by thermodynamic differences between adjacent positions.
Project description:Mapping of nucleosomes, the basic DNA packaging unit in eukaryotes, is fundamental for understanding genome regulation because nucleosomes modulate DNA access by their positioning along the genome. A cell-population nucleosome map requires two observables: nucleosome positions along the DNA ("Where?") and nucleosome occupancies across the population ("In how many cells?"). All available genome-wide nucleosome mapping techniques are yield methods because they score either nucleosomal (e.g., MNase-seq, chemical cleavage-seq) or nonnucleosomal (e.g., ATAC-seq) DNA but lose track of the total DNA population for each genomic region. Therefore, they only provide nucleosome positions and maybe compare relative occupancies between positions, but cannot measure absolute nucleosome occupancy, which is the fraction of all DNA molecules occupied at a given position and time by a nucleosome. Here, we established two orthogonal and thereby cross-validating approaches to measure absolute nucleosome occupancy across the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome via restriction enzymes and DNA methyltransferases. The resulting high-resolution (9-bp) map shows uniform absolute occupancies. Most nucleosome positions are occupied in most cells: 97% of all nucleosomes called by chemical cleavage-seq have a mean absolute occupancy of 90 ± 6% (±SD). Depending on nucleosome position calling procedures, there are 57,000 to 60,000 nucleosomes per yeast cell. The few low absolute occupancy nucleosomes do not correlate with highly transcribed gene bodies, but correlate with increased presence of the nucleosome-evicting chromatin structure remodeling (RSC) complex, and are enriched upstream of highly transcribed or regulated genes. Our work provides a quantitative method and reference frame in absolute terms for future chromatin studies.
Project description:The exact positions of nucleosomes along genomic DNA can influence many aspects of chromosome function. However, existing methods for mapping nucleosomes do not provide the necessary single-base-pair accuracy to determine these positions. Here we develop and apply a new approach for direct mapping of nucleosome centres on the basis of chemical modification of engineered histones. The resulting map locates nucleosome positions genome-wide in unprecedented detail and accuracy. It shows new aspects of the in vivo nucleosome organization that are linked to transcription factor binding, RNA polymerase pausing and the higher-order structure of the chromatin fibre.
Project description:Nucleosome positions on the DNA are determined by the intrinsic affinities of histone proteins to a given DNA sequence and by the ATP-dependent activities of chromatin remodeling complexes that can translocate nucleosomes with respect to the DNA. Here, we report a theoretical approach that takes into account both contributions. In the theoretical analysis two types of experiments have been considered: in vitro experiments with a single reconstituted nucleosome and in vivo genome-scale mapping of nucleosome positions. The effect of chromatin remodelers was described by iteratively redistributing the nucleosomes according to certain rules until a new steady state was reached. Three major classes of remodeler activities were identified: (i) the establishment of a regular nucleosome spacing in the vicinity of a strong positioning signal acting as a boundary, (ii) the enrichment/depletion of nucleosomes through amplification of intrinsic DNA-sequence-encoded signals and (iii) the removal of nucleosomes from high-affinity binding sites. From an analysis of data for nucleosome positions in resting and activated human CD4(+) T cells [Schones et al., Cell 132, p. 887] it was concluded that the redistribution of a nucleosome map to a new state is greatly facilitated if the remodeler complex translocates the nucleosome with a preferred directionality.
Project description:Nucleosome positioning can affect the accessibility of the underlying DNA to the nuclear environment and as such plays an essential role in the regulation of cellular processes. Specific patterns have been found in the underlying DNA sequences of the nucleosome, and one of the most important patterns includes dinucleotides distributed every 10 to 11 base pairs. Based on this property, we propose to match each dinucleotide in the sequence against its mirror occurrences for 10 to 11 base pairs on both left-hand and right-hand sides. A large number of matches in a local region will then signify the existence of a nucleosome. In this paper, we propose the matched mirror position filters for efficient matching of periodic dinucleotide patterns and computationally predict the nucleosome positions. Experimental results on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) genome show that the proposed algorithm can predict nucleosome positions effectively. More than 50% of our predicted nucleosomes are within 35 base pairs of those detected by biological experiments.
Project description:Although deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I) was used to probe the structure of the nucleosome in the 1960s and 1970s, in the current high-throughput sequencing era, DNase I has mainly been used to study genomic regions devoid of nucleosomes. Here, we reveal for the first time that DNase I can be used to precisely map the (translational) positions of in vivo nucleosomes genome-wide. Specifically, exploiting a distinctive DNase I cleavage profile within nucleosome-associated DNA--including a signature 10.3 base pair oscillation that corresponds to accessibility of the minor groove as DNA winds around the nucleosome--we develop a Bayes-factor-based method that can be used to map nucleosome positions along the genome. Compared to methods that require genetically modified histones, our DNase-based approach is easily applied in any organism, which we demonstrate by producing maps in yeast and human. Compared to micrococcal nuclease (MNase)-based methods that map nucleosomes based on cuts in linker regions, we utilize DNase I cuts both outside and within nucleosomal DNA; the oscillatory nature of the DNase I cleavage profile within nucleosomal DNA enables us to identify translational positioning details not apparent in MNase digestion of linker DNA. Because the oscillatory pattern corresponds to nucleosome rotational positioning, it also reveals the rotational context of transcription factor (TF) binding sites. We show that potential binding sites within nucleosome-associated DNA are often centered preferentially on an exposed major or minor groove. This preferential localization may modulate TF interaction with nucleosome-associated DNA as TFs search for binding sites.
Project description:Ultraviolet (UV) light-induced mutations are unevenly distributed across skin cancer genomes, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity are not fully understood. Here, we assessed how nucleosome structure impacts the positions of UV-induced mutations in human melanomas. Analysis of mutation positions from cutaneous melanomas within strongly positioned nucleosomes revealed a striking ~10 base pair (bp) oscillation in mutation density with peaks occurring at dinucleotides facing away from the histone octamer. Additionally, higher mutation density at the nucleosome dyad generated an overarching "translational curvature" across the 147 bp of DNA that constitutes the nucleosome core particle. This periodicity and curvature cannot be explained by sequence biases in nucleosomal DNA. Instead, our genome-wide map of UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) indicates that CPD formation is elevated at outward facing dinucleotides, mirroring the oscillation of mutation density within nucleosome-bound DNA. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) activity, as measured by XR-seq, inversely correlated with the curvature of mutation density associated with the translational setting of the nucleosome. While the 10 bp periodicity of mutations is maintained across nucleosomes regardless of chromatin state, histone modifications, and transcription levels, overall mutation density and curvature across the core particle increased with lower transcription levels. Our observations suggest structural conformations of DNA promote CPD formation at specific sites within nucleosomes, and steric hindrance progressively limits lesion repair towards the nucleosome dyad. Both mechanisms create a unique extended mutation signature within strongly positioned nucleosomes across the human genome.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent advances in the field of high-throughput genomics have rendered possible the performance of genome-scale studies to define the nucleosomal landscapes of eukaryote genomes. Such analyses are aimed towards providing a better understanding of the process of nucleosome positioning, for which several models have been suggested. Nevertheless, questions regarding the sequence constraints of nucleosomal DNA and how they may have been shaped through evolution remain open. In this paper, we analyze in detail different experimental nucleosome datasets with the aim of providing a hypothesis for the emergence of nucleosome-forming sequences. RESULTS: We compared the complete sets of nucleosome positions for the budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as defined in the output of two independent experiments with the use of two different experimental techniques. We found that < 10% of the experimentally defined nucleosome positions were consistently positioned in both datasets. This subset of well-positioned nucleosomes, when compared with the bulk, was shown to have particular properties at both sequence and structural levels. Consistently positioned nucleosomes were also shown to occur preferentially in pairs of dinucleosomes, and to be surprisingly less conserved compared with their adjacent nucleosome-free linkers. CONCLUSION: Our findings may be combined into a hypothesis for the emergence of a weak nucleosome-positioning code. According to this hypothesis, consistent nucleosomes may be partly guided by nearby nucleosome-free regions through statistical positioning. Once established, a set of well-positioned consistent nucleosomes may impose secondary constraints that further shape the structure of the underlying DNA. We were able to capture these constraints through the application of a recently introduced structural property that is related to the symmetry of DNA curvature. Furthermore, we found that both consistently positioned nucleosomes and their adjacent nucleosome-free regions show an increased tendency towards conservation of this structural feature.