MacroH2A Allows ATP-Dependent Chromatin Remodeling by SWI/SNF and ACF Complexes but Specifically Reduces Recruitment of SWI/SNF

The variant histone macroH2A helps maintain X inactivation and gene silencing. Previous work implied that nucleosomes containing macroH2A cannot be remodeled by ISWI and SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling enzymes. Using approaches that prevent misassembly of macroH2A nucleosomes, we find that macroH2A nucleosomes are excellent substrates for both enzyme families. Interestingly, SWI/SNF, which is involved in gene activation, preferentially binds H2A nucleosomes over macroH2A nucleosomes, but ACF, an ISWI complex implicated in gene repression, shows no preference. Thus, macroH2A may help regulate the balance between activating and repressive remodeling complexes.