Deletions of three yeast genes, SET2, CDC73, and DST1, involved in transcriptional elongation and/or chromatin metabolism were used in conjunction with genetic array technology to screen approximately 4700 yeast deletions and identify double deletion mutants that produce synthetic growth defects. Of the five deletions interacting genetically with all three starting mutations, one encoded the histone H2A variant Htz1 and three encoded components of a novel 13 protein complex, SWR-C, containing the Snf2 family ATPase, Swr1. The SWR-C also copurified with Htz1 and Bdf1, a TFIID-interacting protein that recognizes acetylated histone tails. Deletions of the genes encoding Htz1 and seven nonessential SWR-C components caused a similar spectrum of synthetic growth defects when combined with deletions of 384 genes involved in transcription, suggesting that Htz1 and SWR-C belong to the same pathway. We show that recruitment of Htz1 to chromatin requires the SWR-C. Moreover, like Htz1 and Bdf1, the SWR-C promotes gene expression near silent heterochromatin.
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