The ISWI class of chromatin remodeling factors exhibits potent chromatin remodeling activities in vitro. However, the in vivo functions of this class of factors are unknown at a molecular level. We have found that S. cerevisiae Isw2 complex represses transcription of early meiotic genes during mitotic growth in a parallel pathway to Rpd3-Sin3 histone deacetylase complex. This repressor function of lsw2 complex is largely dependent upon Ume6p, which recruits the complex to target genes. Nuclease digestion analyses revealed that lsw2 complex establishes nuclease-inaccessible chromatin structure near the Ume6p binding site in vivo. Based on these findings, we propose a model for the mechanism of transcriptional repression by two distinct chromatin remodeling complexes.
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