Eukaryotic DNA is hierarchically packaged into chromatin to fit inside the nucleus. Dynamics of the chromatin structure plays a critical role in transcriptional regulation and other biological processes that involve DNA, such as DNA replication and DNA repair. Many factors, including histone variants, histone modification, DNA methylation and the binding of non-histone architectural proteins regulate the structure of chromatin. Although the structure of nucleosomes, the fundamental repeating unit of chromatin, is clear, there is still much discussion on the higher-order levels of chromatin structure. Identifying the structural details and dynamics of higher-order chromatin fibers is therefore very important for understanding the organization and regulation of gene activities. Here, we review studies on the dynamics of chromatin higherorder structure and its relationship with gene transcription.
Keywordschromatin higher-order structure dynamics transcriptional regulation
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