Degennaro CM, Alver BH, Marguerat S, Stepanova E, Davis CP, Bähler J, Park PJ, Winston F
Spt6 is a highly conserved histone chaperone that interacts directly with both RNA polymerase II and histones to regulate gene expression. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the roles of Spt6, we performed genome-wide analyses of transcription, chromatin structure, and histone modifications in an S. pombe spt6 mutant. Our results demonstrate dramatic changes to transcription and chromatin structure in the mutant, including elevated antisense transcripts at more than 70 percent of all genes and general loss of the +1 nucleosome. Furthermore, Spt6 is required for marks associated with active transcription, including trimethylation of histone H3 on lysine 4, previously observed in humans, but not S. cerevisiae, and lysine 36. Taken together, our results indicate that Spt6 is critical for the accuracy of transcription and the integrity of chromatin, likely via its direct interactions with RNA polymerase II and histones.