AZ Ostrow, T Nellimoottil, SRV Knott, CA Fox, S Tavaré, OM Aparicio
Forkhead box (FOX) transcription factors regulate a wide variety of cellular functions in higher eukaryotes, including cell cycle control and developmental regulation. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Forkhead proteins Fkh1 and Fkh2 perform analogous functions, regulating genes involved in cell cycle control, while also regulating mating-type silencing and switching involved in gamete development. Recently, we revealed a novel role for Fkh1 and Fkh2 in the regulation of replication origin initiation timing, which, like donor preference in mating-type switching, appears to involve long-range chromosomal interactions, suggesting roles for Fkh1 and Fkh2 in chromatin architecture and organization. To elucidate how Fkh1 and Fkh2 regulate their target DNA elements and potentially regulate the spatial organization of the genome, we undertook a genome-wide analysis of Fkh1 and Fkh2 chromatin binding by ChIP-chip using tiling DNA microarrays. Our results confirm and extend previous findings showing that Fkh1 and Fkh2 control the expression of cell cycle-regulated genes. In addition, the data reveal hundreds of novel loci that bind Fkh1 only and exhibit a distinct chromatin structure from loci that bind both Fkh1 and Fkh2. The findings also show that Fkh1 plays the predominant role in the regulation of a subset of replication origins that initiate replication early, and that Fkh1/2 binding to these loci is cell cycle-regulated. Finally, we demonstrate that Fkh1 and Fkh2 bind proximally to a variety of genetic elements, including centromeres and Pol III-transcribed snoRNAs and tRNAs, greatly expanding their potential repertoire of functional targets, consistent with their recently suggested role in mediating the spatial organization of the genome.