Dual role of the histone variant H2A.Z in regulation of stress-response genes

Histones are protein complexes around which genomic DNA is wrapped; post-translational modifications to histone proteins and alterations of histone protein composition affect transcription. H2A.Z is a widely conserved variant form of histone H2A that has been implicated in various forms of transcriptional regulation. Sura et al. examine the role of H2A.Z in the Arabidopsis stress response by investigating the occupancy patterns of H2A.Z and the transcriptional responses of the arp6 mutant, which is impaired in H2A.Z deposition. The authors found that H2A.Z in the gene body represses transcription of many stress-inducible genes, but that in other genes H2A.Z in the first nucleosome downstream of the transcription start site (the +1 nucleosome) is positively correlated with transcription. Thus, H2A.Z has a dual role in transcriptional regulation. Plant Cell 10.​1105/​tpc.​16.​00573