Major Determinants of Nucleosome Positioning

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The compact structure of the nucleosome limits DNA accessibility and inhibits the binding of most sequence-specific proteins. Nucleosomes are not randomly located on the DNA but positioned with respect to the DNA sequence, suggesting models in which critical binding sites are either exposed in the linker, resulting in activation, or buried inside a nucleosome, resulting in repression. The mechanisms determining nucleosome positioning are therefore of paramount importance for understanding gene regulation and other events that occur in chromatin, such as transcription, replication, and repair. Here, we review our current understanding of the major determinants of nucleosome positioning: DNA sequence, nonhistone DNA-binding proteins, chromatin-remodeling enzymes, and transcription. We outline the major challenges for the future: elucidating the precise mechanisms of chromatin opening and promoter activation, identifying the complexes that occupy promoters, and understanding the multiscale problem of chromatin fiber organization.




Chereji, R. V., & Clark, D. J. (2018, May 22). Major Determinants of Nucleosome Positioning. Biophysical Journal. Biophysical Society.

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