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CTCF confers local nucleosome resiliency after DNA replication and during mitosis


The access of Transcription Factors (TFs) to their cognate DNA binding motifs requires a precise control over nucleosome positioning. This is especially important following DNA replication and during mitosis, both resulting in profound changes in nucleosome organization over TF binding regions. Using mouse Embryonic Stem (ES) cells, we show that the TF CTCF displaces nucleosomes from its binding site and locally organizes large and phased nucleosomal arrays, not only in interphase steady-state but also immediately after replication and during mitosis. Correlative analyses suggest this is associated with fast gene reactivation following replication and mitosis. While regions bound by other TFs (Oct4/Sox2), display major rearrangement, the post-replication and mitotic nucleosome positioning activity of CTCF is not unique: Esrrb binding regions are also characterized by persistent nucleosome positioning. Therefore, selected TFs such as CTCF and Esrrb act as resilient TFs governing the inheritance of nucleosome positioning at regulatory regions throughout the cell-cycle.

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