A longstanding hypothesis is that chromatin fiber folding mediated by interactions between nearby nucleosomes represses transcription. However, it has been difficult to determine the relationship between local chromatin fiber compaction and transcription in cells. Further, global changes in fiber diameters have not been observed, even between interphase and mitotic chromosomes. We show that an increase in the range of local inter-nucleosomal contacts in quiescent yeast drives the compaction of chromatin fibers genome-wide. Unlike actively dividing cells, inter-nucleosomal interactions in quiescent cells require a basic patch in the histone H4 tail. This quiescence-specific fiber folding globally represses transcription and inhibits chromatin loop extrusion by condensin. These results reveal that global changes in chromatin fiber compaction can occur during cell state transitions, and establish physiological roles for local chromatin fiber folding in regulating transcription and chromatin domain formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)