Beads on a string—nucleosome array arrangements and folding of the chromatin fiber


Understanding how the genome is structurally organized as chromatin is essential for understanding its function. Here, we review recent developments that allowed the readdressing of old questions regarding the primary level of chromatin structure, the arrangement of nucleosomes along the DNA and the folding of the nucleosome fiber in nuclear space. In contrast to earlier views of nucleosome arrays as uniformly regular and folded, recent findings reveal heterogeneous array organization and diverse modes of folding. Local structure variations reflect a continuum of functional states characterized by differences in post-translational histone modifications, associated chromatin-interacting proteins and nucleosome-remodeling enzymes.

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Fig. 1: Iconic views of the nucleosome fiber.
Fig. 2: Phased nucleosome arrays.
Fig. 3: Nucleosome array organization at expressed versus silent genes.
Fig. 4: Folding of the nucleosome fiber.


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Baldi, S., Korber, P. & Becker, P.B. Beads on a string—nucleosome array arrangements and folding of the chromatin fiber. Nat Struct Mol Biol 27, 109–118 (2020).

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