Chromatin structure

Definition

Chromatin structure describes the physical structure of chromatin within the eukaryotic nucleus and how structure affects chromatin processes such as transcription. The repeating unit of chromatin, the nucleosome, consists of approximately 147 base pairs of DNA wrapped around eight histone protein cores. Linker DNA, upwards of 80 base pairs long, connects two histones between each nucleosome core unit.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    HP1a can nucleate into foci that display liquid properties during the early stages of heterochromatin domain formation in Drosophila embryos, suggesting that the repressive action of heterochromatin may be mediated in part by emergent properties of phase separation.

    • Amy R. Strom
    • , Alexander V. Emelyanov
    • , Mustafa Mir
    • , Dmitry V. Fyodorov
    • , Xavier Darzacq
    •  & Gary H. Karpen
  • Reviews |

    A full understanding of chromatin in diverse cellular processes requires the consideration of its dynamics, but most standard chromatin assays provide only a static snapshot. This Review describes various emerging methods for probing chromatin dynamics across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, and discusses the resulting biological insights.

    • Olivier Cuvier
    •  & Beat Fierz
  • Reviews |

    Three-dimensional genome organization can shape gene expression by facilitating interactions between regulatory elements. The authors review the process of X-chromosome inactivation with a focus on chromatin organization and subnuclear localization of the active and inactive X chromosomes, as well as the potential roles of long non-coding RNAs.

    • Teddy Jégu
    • , Eric Aeby
    •  & Jeannie T. Lee
  • Research |

    Homotypic interactions between active and Polycomb-repressed promoters co-occurring in the same DNA fiber, rather than CTCF occupancy, explain the 3D HoxB folding pattern.

    • Mariano Barbieri
    • , Sheila Q Xie
    • , Elena Torlai Triglia
    • , Andrea M Chiariello
    • , Simona Bianco
    • , Inês de Santiago
    • , Miguel R Branco
    • , David Rueda
    • , Mario Nicodemi
    •  & Ana Pombo
  • Research |

    Using a single-nucleus Hi-C protocol, the authors find that spatial organization of chromatin during oocyte-to-zygote transition differs between paternal and maternal nuclei within a single-cell zygote.

    • Ilya M. Flyamer
    • , Johanna Gassler
    • , Maxim Imakaev
    • , Hugo B. Brandão
    • , Sergey V. Ulianov
    • , Nezar Abdennur
    • , Sergey V. Razin
    • , Leonid A. Mirny
    •  & Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski
    Nature 544, 110–114

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