Bradley R. Cairns

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The packaging of chromosomal DNA by nucleosomes condenses and organizes the genome, but occludes many regulatory DNA elements. However, this constraint also allows nucleosomes and other chromatin components to actively participate in the regulation of transcription, chromosome segregation, DNA replication, and DNA repair. To enable dynamic access to(More)
Because nucleosomes are widely replaced by protamine in mature human sperm, the epigenetic contributions of sperm chromatin to embryo development have been considered highly limited. Here we show that the retained nucleosomes are significantly enriched at loci of developmental importance, including imprinted gene clusters, microRNA clusters, HOX gene(More)
Histone variants help specialize chromatin regions; however, their impact on transcriptional regulation is largely unknown. Here, we determined the genome-wide localization and dynamics of Htz1, the yeast histone H2A variant. Htz1 localizes to hundreds of repressed/basal Pol II promoters and prefers TATA-less promoters. Specific Htz1 deposition requires the(More)
Evidence for active DNA demethylation in vertebrates is accumulating, but the mechanisms and enzymes remain unclear. Using zebrafish embryos we provide evidence for 5-methylcytosine (5-meC) removal in vivo via the coupling of a 5-meC deaminase (AID, which converts 5-meC to thymine) and a G:T mismatch-specific thymine glycosylase (Mbd4). The injection of(More)
Dynamic regulation of diverse nuclear processes is intimately linked to covalent modifications of chromatin. Much attention has focused on methylation at lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4), owing to its association with euchromatic genomic regions. H3K4 can be mono-, di- or tri-methylated. Trimethylated H3K4 (H3K4me3) is preferentially detected at active genes,(More)
The SWI/SNF complex in yeast facilitates the function of transcriptional activators by opposing chromatin-dependent repression of transcription. We demonstrate that in mammals SWI/SNF complexes are present in multiple forms made up of 9-12 proteins that we refer to as BRG1-associated factors (BAFs) ranging from 47 to 250 kD. We have isolated cDNAs for human(More)
A novel 15-subunit complex with the capacity to remodel the structure of chromatin, termed RSC, has been isolated from S. cerevisiae on the basis of homology to the SWI/SNF complex. At least three RSC subunits are related to SWI/SNF polypeptides: Sth1p, Rsc6p, and Rsc8p are significantly similar to Swi2/Snf2p, Swp73p, and Swi3p, respectively, and were(More)
Nucleosomes can restrict the access of transcription factors to chromatin. RSC is a SWI/SNF-family chromatin-remodeling complex from yeast that repositions and ejects nucleosomes in vitro. Here, we examined these activities and their importance in vivo. We utilized array-based methods to examine nucleosome occupancy and positioning at more than 200(More)
Adult germline stem cells (AGSCs) self-renew (Thy1(+) enriched) or commit to gametogenesis (Kit(+) enriched). To better understand how chromatin regulates AGSC biology and gametogenesis, we derived stage-specific high-resolution profiles of DNA methylation, 5hmC, histone modifications/variants, and RNA-seq in AGSCs and during spermatogenesis. First, we(More)