This special issue of NSMB examines the structural organization and function of chromatin and its dynamic regulation.
Volume 14 Issue 11, November 2007
Starting with the structure of the nucleosome and continuing with histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling complexes, silencing factors and more, a detailed and dynamic picture of chromosomal DNA transactions has emerged.
News & Views
Two new studies point to a heretofore underappreciated mechanism by which chromatin higher-order structure can be regulated by surfaces in the nucleosome that are not associated with DNA.
Post-translational modification of histones can profoundly affect chromatin structure and function. The discovery that histone H3 Arg2 methylation is a widespread silencing modification that inhibits histone H3 Lys4 trimethylation extends our understanding of how active and silenced chromatin states are maintained.
In eukaryotes, the packaging of DNA by histones into chromatin has profound effects on transcription and other nuclear processes. Far from being a uniform set of 'beads on a string', chromatin structure is remodeled and even modified, altering the accessibility of packaged genes to the factors involved in their regulation. This special focus on chromatin features an Overview, six Reviews and a Perspective that describe how chromatin is built and subsequently altered at various structural levels, and the impact of these events on fundamental biological processes involving DNA.