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      Chromatin—a global buffer for eukaryotic gene control

      research-article
      * ,
      AIMS Biophysics
      AIMS Press
      DNA, nucleosome, chromatin, nucleosome positioning, histone code, gene control

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          Abstract

          Most of eukaryotic DNA is embedded into nucleosome arrays formed by DNA wrapped around a core histone octamer. Nucleosome is a fundamental repeating unit of chromatin guarding access to the genetic information. Here, I will discuss two facets of nucleosome in eukaryotic gene control. On the one hand, nucleosome acts as a regulatory unit, which controls gene switches through a set of post-translational modifications occurring on histone tails. On the other hand, global configuration of nucleosome arrays with respect to nucleosome positioning, spacing and turnover acts as a tuning parameter for all genomic functions. A “histone code” hypothesis extents the Jacob-Monod model for eukaryotic gene control; however, when considering factors capable of reconfiguring entire nucleosome array, such as ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, this model becomes limited. Global changes in nucleosome arrays will be sensed by every gene, yet the transcriptional responses might be specific and appear as gene targeted events. What determines such specificity is unclear, but it’s likely to depend on initial gene settings, such as availability of transcription factors, and on configuration of new nucleosome array state.

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          Chromatin structure: a repeating unit of histones and DNA.

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            Spheroid chromatin units (v bodies).

            Linear arrays of spherical chromatin particles (nu bodies) about 70 angstroms in diameter have been observed in preparations of isolated eukaryotic nuclei swollen in water, centrifuged onto carbon films, and positively or negatively stained. These bodies have been found in isolated rat thymus, rat liver, and chicken erythrocyte nuclei. Favorable views also reveal connecting strands about 15 angstroms wide between adjacent particles.
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              Regulating the chromatin landscape: structural and mechanistic perspectives.

              A large family of chromatin remodelers that noncovalently modify chromatin is crucial in cell development and differentiation. They are often the targets of cancer, neurological disorders, and other human diseases. These complexes alter nucleosome positioning, higher-order chromatin structure, and nuclear organization. They also assemble chromatin, exchange out histone variants, and disassemble chromatin at defined locations. We review aspects of the structural organization of these complexes, the functional properties of their protein domains, and variation between complexes. We also address the mechanistic details of these complexes in mobilizing nucleosomes and altering chromatin structure. A better understanding of these issues will be vital for further analyses of subunits of these chromatin remodelers, which are being identified as targets in human diseases by NGS (next-generation sequencing).
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                AIMS Biophysics
                AIMS Biophysics
                AIMS Press
                2377-9098
                22 September 2015
                : 2
                : 4
                : 531-554
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of RAS, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
                Author notes
                * Correspondence:Yuri M. Moshkin, Email: yury.moshkin@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel: +31-620002894.
                Article
                10.3934/biophy.2015.4.531
                ee492f1f-c42c-4c03-b9f5-7038cace67c3
                History
                : 26 August 2015
                : 20 September 2015
                Categories
                Review

                Biophysics
                DNA,nucleosome,chromatin,nucleosome positioning,histone code,gene control
                Biophysics
                DNA, nucleosome, chromatin, nucleosome positioning, histone code, gene control

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