Regulation of the CLN1 and CLN2 G1 cyclin genes controls cell cycle progression. The SBF activator binds to these promoters but is kept inactive by the Whi5 and Stb1 inhibitors. The Cdc28 cyclin-dependent kinase phosphorylates Whi5, ending the inhibition. Our chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments show that SBF, Whi5 and Stb1 recruit both Cdc28 and the Rpd3(L) histone deacetylase to CLN promoters, extending the analogy with mammalian G1 cyclin promoters in which Rb recruits histone deacetylases. Finally, we show that the SBF subunit Swi6 recruits the FACT chromatin reorganizer to SBF- and MBF-regulated genes. Mutations affecting FACT reduce the transient nucleosome eviction seen at these promoters during a normal cell cycle and also reduce expression. Temperature-sensitive mutations affecting FACT and Cdc28 can be suppressed by disruption of STB1 and WHI5, suggesting that one critical function of FACT and Cdc28 is overcoming chromatin repression at G1 cyclin promoters. Thus, SBF recruits complexes to promoters that either enhance (FACT) or repress (Rpd3L) accessibility to chromatin, and also recruits the kinase that activates START.
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