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Background: Chromatin consists of ordered nucleosomal arrays that are controlled by highly conserved adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes. One such remodeler, chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 1 (Chd1), is believed to play an integral role in nucleosomal organization, as the loss of Chd1 is known to disrupt chromatin. However, the specificity and basis for the functional and physical localization of Chd1 on chromatin remains largely unknown. Results: Using genome-wide approaches, we found that the loss of Chd1 significantly disrupted nucleosome arrays within the gene bodies of highly transcribed genes. We also found that Chd1 is physically recruited to gene bodies, and that its occupancy specifically corresponds to that of the early elongating form of RNA polymerase, RNAPII Ser 5-P. Conversely, RNAPII Ser 5-P occupancy was affected by the loss of Chd1, suggesting that Chd1 is associated with early transcription elongation. Surprisingly, the occupancy of RNAPII Ser 5-P was affected by the loss of Chd1 specifically at intron-containing genes. Nucleosome turnover was also affected at these sites in the absence of Chd1. We also found that deletion of the histone methyltransferase for H3K36 (SET2) did not affect either Chd1 occupancy or nucleosome organization genome-wide. Conclusions: Chd1 is specifically recruited onto the gene bodies of highly transcribed genes in an elongation-dependent but H3K36me3-independent manner. Chd1 co-localizes with the early elongating form of RNA polymerase, and affects the occupancy of RNAPII only at genes containing introns, suggesting a role in relieving splicing-related pausing of RNAPII.
Park, D., Shivram, H., & Iyer, V. R. (2014). Chd1 co-localizes with early transcription elongation factors independently of H3K36 methylation and releases stalled RNA polymerase II at introns. Epigenetics and Chromatin, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-8935-7-32