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The complex language of chromatin regulation during transcription

Abstract

An important development in understanding the influence of chromatin on gene regulation has been the finding that DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications lead to the recruitment of protein complexes that regulate transcription. Early interpretations of this phenomenon involved gene regulation reflecting predictive activating or repressing types of modification. However, further exploration reveals that transcription occurs against a backdrop of mixtures of complex modifications, which probably have several roles. Although such modifications were initially thought to be a simple code, a more likely model is of a sophisticated, nuanced chromatin 'language' in which different combinations of basic building blocks yield dynamic functional outcomes.

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Figure 1: Model for activation and repression.
Figure 2: H3K4me-binding proteins.
Figure 3: Model for positive and negative chromatin marks in ORFs.

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks G. P. Moore for critical reading and valuable suggestions. Research in the author's laboratory is supported by grants from the NIH.

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Berger, S. The complex language of chromatin regulation during transcription. Nature 447, 407–412 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05915

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