Previous studies have identified sin mutations that alleviate the requirement for the yeast SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, which include point changes in the yeast genes encoding core histones. Here we characterise the biochemical properties of nucleosomes bearing these mutations. We find that sin mutant nucleosomes have a high inherent thermal mobility. As the SWI/SNF complex can alter nucleosome positioning, the higher mobility of sin mutant nucleosomes provides a means by which sin mutations may substitute for SWI/SNF function. The location of sin mutations also provides a new opportunity for insights into the mechanism for nucleosome mobilisation. We find that both mutations altering histone DNA contacts at the nucleosome dyad and mutations in the dimer–tetramer interface influence nucleosome mobility. Furthermore, incorporation of H2A.Z into nucleosomes, which also alters dimer–tetramer interactions, affects nucleosome mobility. Thus, variation of histone sequence or subtype provides a means by which eukaryotes may regulate access to chromatin through alterations to nucleosome mobility.
- ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling
- Nucleosome mobility
- Sin mutation