The interaction of architectural proteins such as the linker histone H1 and high mobility group (HMG) proteins with nucleosomes leads to changes in chromatin structure and histone modifications and alters the cellular transcription profile. The interaction of HMG proteins with chromatin is dynamic. However, it is not clear whether the proteins are constantly and randomly redistributed among all the nucleosomes, or whether they preferentially associate with, and turnover at, specific regions in chromatin. To address this question, we examined the genome-wide distribution of the nucleosome binding protein HMGN1, and compared it to that of regulatory chromatin marks. We find that HMGN1 is not randomly distributed throughout the genome. Instead, the protein preferentially localizes to DNase I hypersensitive (HS) sites, promoters, functional enhancers and transcription factor binding sites. Our results suggest that HMGN1 is part of the cellular machinery that modulates transcriptional fidelity by generating, maintaining, or preferentially interacting with specific sites in chromatin.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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