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The histone variant H2A.Z is involved in several processes such as transcriptional control, DNA repair, regulation of centromeric heterochromatin and, not surprisingly, is implicated in diseases such as cancer. Here, we review the recent developments on H2A.Z focusing on its role in transcriptional activation and repression. H2A.Z, as a replication-independent histone, has been studied in several model organisms and inducible mammalian model systems. Its loading machinery and several modifying enzymes have been recently identified, and some of the long-standing discrepancies in transcriptional activation and/or repression are about to be resolved. The buffering functions of H2A.Z, as supported by genome-wide localization and analyzed in several dynamic systems, are an excellent example of transcriptional control. Posttranslational modifications such as acetylation and ubiquitination of H2A.Z, as well as its specific binding partners, are in our view central players in the control of gene expression. Understanding the key-mechanisms in either turnover or stabilization of H2A.Z-containing nucleosomes as well as defining the H2A.Z interactome will pave the way for therapeutic applications in the future.
Giaimo, B. D., Ferrante, F., Herchenröther, A., Hake, S. B., & Borggrefe, T. (2019, June 14). The histone variant H2A.Z in gene regulation. Epigenetics and Chromatin. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13072-019-0274-9