Histone Modifications and Epigenetics
Jennifer K. Sims, Tanya Magazinnik, Sabrina I. Houston, Shumin Wu and Judd C. Rice
from: Epigenetics (Edited by: Jörg Tost). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
While the DNA sequence in all cells of an organism is identical, each different cell type is largely defined by the specific sets of genes that are expressed and repressed in that particular cell type. Therefore, cell fate and identity are generally governed by gene expression patterns. One of the greatest challenges to modern research is the elucidation of how these gene expression/repression patterns are established and maintained. In the last decade it has become increasingly clear that the DNA-associated histone proteins play an important, yet enigmatic, role in gene regulation within the mammalian genome. In this chapter we discuss the various covalent chemical modifications of the histones and, by using histone methylation as a model, we illustrate the current paradigm of how histone modifications directly participate in various DNA-templated processes such as transcription read more ...