GSBS Student Publications


DNA translocation and loop formation mechanism of chromatin remodeling by SWI/SNF and RSC

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Program in Gene Function and Expression; Program in Molecular Medicine



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adenosine Triphosphate; Animals; Chickens; *Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly; Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone; DNA; DNA-Binding Proteins; Models, Biological; Models, Molecular; *Nucleic Acid Conformation; Nucleosomes; Optical Tweezers; Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins; Stress, Mechanical; Tandem Repeat Sequences; Transcription Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes (remodelers) modulate gene transcription by regulating the accessibility of highly packaged genomic DNA. However, the molecular mechanisms involved at the nucleosomal level in this process remain controversial. Here, we monitor the real-time activity of single ySWI/SNF or RSC complexes on single, stretched nucleosomal templates under tensions above 1 pN forces. We find that these remodelers can translocate along DNA at rates of approximately 13 bp/s and generate forces up to approximately 12 pN, producing DNA loops of a broad range of sizes (20-1200 bp, average approximately 100 bp) in a nucleosome-dependent manner. This nucleosome-specific activity differs significantly from that on bare DNA observed under low tensions and suggests a nucleosome-remodeling mechanism through intranucleosomal DNA loop formation. Such loop formation may provide a molecular basis for the biological functions of remodelers.

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Citation: Mol Cell. 2006 Nov 17;24(4):559-68. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Molecular cell

PubMed ID