Nucleosome positioning in human HOX gene clusters.


Kharchenko PV*, Woo CJ*, Tolstorukov MY, Kingston RE**, Park PJ**. Nucleosome positioning in human HOX gene clusters. Genome Res 2008;18(10):1554-61. Copy at

Date Published:

2008 Oct


The distribution of nucleosomes along the genome is a significant aspect of chromatin structure and is thought to influence gene regulation through modulation of DNA accessibility. However, properties of nucleosome organization remain poorly understood, particularly in mammalian genomes. Toward this goal we used tiled microarrays to identify stable nucleosome positions along the HOX gene clusters in human cell lines. We show that nucleosome positions exhibit sequence properties and long-range organization that are different from those characterized in other organisms. Despite overall variability of internucleosome distances, specific loci contain regular nucleosomal arrays with 195-bp periodicity. Moreover, such arrays tend to occur preferentially toward the 3' ends of genes. Through comparison of different cell lines, we find that active transcription is correlated with increased positioning of nucleosomes, suggesting an unexpected role for transcription in the establishment of well-positioned nucleosomes.

Last updated on 10/19/2015