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Reciprocal Binding of PARP-1 and Histone H1 at Promoters Specifies Transcriptional Outcomes

Science, 8 February 2008
Vol. 319, Issue 5864, p. 819-821
DOI: 10.1126/science.1149250

Reciprocal Binding of PARP-1 and Histone H1 at Promoters Specifies Transcriptional Outcomes

  1. Raga Krishnakumar1,2,*,
  2. Matthew J. Gamble1,*,
  3. Kristine M. Frizzell1,2,
  4. Jhoanna G. Berrocal1,2,
  5. Miltiadis Kininis1,3,
  6. W. Lee Kraus1,2,3,4,
  1. 1 Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
  2. 2 Graduate Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
  3. 3 Graduate Field of Genetics and Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
  4. 4 Department of Pharmacology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.
  1. To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, 465 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. E-mail: wlk5{at}
  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.


Nucleosome-binding proteins act to modulate the promoter chromatin architecture and transcription of target genes. We used genomic and gene-specific approaches to show that two such factors, histone H1 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), exhibit a reciprocal pattern of chromatin binding at many RNA polymerase II–transcribed promoters. PARP-1 was enriched and H1 was depleted at these promoters. This pattern of binding was associated with actively transcribed genes. Furthermore, we showed that PARP-1 acts to exclude H1 from a subset of PARP-1–stimulated promoters, suggesting a functional interplay between PARP-1 and H1 at the level of nucleosome binding. Thus, although H1 and PARP-1 have similar nucleosome-binding properties and effects on chromatin structure in vitro, they have distinct roles in determining gene expression outcomes in vivo.

    • Received for publication 15 August 2007.
    • Accepted for publication 21 December 2007.


    R. Krishnakumar, M. J. Gamble, K. M. Frizzell, J. G. Berrocal, M. Kininis, and W. L. Kraus, Reciprocal Binding of PARP-1 and Histone H1 at Promoters Specifies Transcriptional Outcomes. Science 319, 819-821 (2008).

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