The yeastPHO5promoter: from single locus to systems biology of a paradigm for gene regulation through chromatin

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Chromatin dynamics crucially contributes to gene regulation. Studies of the yeastPHO5promoter were key to establish this nowadays accepted view and continuously provide mechanistic insight in chromatin remodeling and promoter regulation, both on single locus as well as on systems level. ThePHO5promoter is a context independent chromatin switch module where in the repressed state positioned nucleosomes occlude transcription factor sites such that nucleosome remodeling is a prerequisite for and not consequence of induced gene transcription. This massive chromatin transition from positioned nucleosomes to an extensive hypersensitive site, together with respective transitions at the co-regulatedPHO8andPHO84promoters, became a prime model for dissecting how remodelers, histone modifiers and chaperones co-operate in nucleosome remodeling upon gene induction. This revealed a surprisingly complex cofactor network at thePHO5promoter, including five remodeler ATPases (SWI/SNF, RSC, INO80, Isw1, Chd1), and demonstrated for the first time histone evictionin transas remodeling modein vivo. Recently, thePHO5promoter and the wholePHOregulon were harnessed for quantitative analyses and computational modeling of remodeling, transcription factor binding and promoter input-output relations such that this rewarding single-locus model becomes a paradigm also for theoretical and systems approaches to gene regulatory networks.

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