NuA4 is an essential histone H4/H2A acetyltransferase complex that interacts with activators and stimulates transcription in vitro. We have identified three novel NuA4 subunits: Act3/Arp4, an actin-related protein implicated in epigenetic control of transcription, Act1, and Epl1, a protein homologous to Drosophila Enhancer of Polycomb. Act3/Arp4 binds nucleosomes in vitro and is required for NuA4 integrity in vivo. Mutations in ACT3 and acetyltransferase-encoding ESA1 cause gene-specific transcription defects. Accordingly, NuA4 is localized in precise loci within the nucleus and does not overlap with the silent chromatin marker Sir3. These data along with the known epigenetic roles of Act3/Arp4 and homologs of Epl1 and Esa1 strongly support an essential role for chromatin structure modification by NuA4 in transcription regulation in vivo.
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