Goldman JA, Garlick JD, Kingston RE
ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes rearrange nucleosomes by altering the position of DNA around the histone octamer. Although chromatin remodelers and the histone variant H2A.Z colocalize on transcriptional control regions, whether H2A.Z directly affects remodeler association or activity is unclear. We determined the relative association of remodelers with H2A.Z chromatin and tested whether replacement of H2A.Z in a nucleosome altered the activity of remodeling enzymes. Many families of remodelers showed increased association with H2A.Z chromatin, but only the ISWI family of chromatin remodelers showed stimulated activity in vitro. An acidic patch on the nucleosome surface, extended by inclusion of H2A.Z in nucleosomes and essential for viability, is required for ISWI stimulation. We conclude that H2A.Z incorporation increases nucleosome remodeling activity of the largest class of mammalian remodelers (ISWI) and that it correlates with increased association of other remodelers to chromatin. This reveals two possible modes for regulation of a remodeler by a histone variant.