Histones are negatively charged proteins which assemble into a multi-subunit protein octamer complex around which the DNA of eukaryotic cells is wrapped. The posttranslational modification of histones, along with DNA methylation, has been commonly termed an epigenetic process, although the heritable nature of histone modifications has yet to be clearly demonstrated. Histones are aberrantly modified in cancers, leading to deregulated expression of tumor suppressors and oncogenes, events important in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. In addition, cellular levels of histone modifications are altered in cancer and are predictive of clinical outcome in a number of cancer types.
Histones and Chromatin
The DNA of eukaryotic cells associates with numerous different proteins to form chromatin, the physiologically relevant form of DNA. The most abundant proteins in chromatin are the histone proteins which are small, basic proteins that are highly conserved among...