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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Apr;16(2):171-6. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Regulation of nucleosome stability as a mediator of chromatin function.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA.


Interactions among regulatory proteins, enzymes and DNA are required to use the information encoded in genomes. In eukaryotes, the location and timing of interactions between these proteins and DNA is determined in large part by whether DNA at a given locus is packaged into a nucleosome. Given the central role of nucleosome formation in regulating genome function, many mechanisms have evolved to control nucleosome stability at loci across the genome. New conclusions about the role of the DNA sequence itself in the regulation of nucleosome stability have come from two new types of experiment: high-resolution mapping of in vivo nucleosome occupancy on a genomic scale; and in vivo versus in vitro comparisons of nucleosome stability on natural DNA templates. These new types of data raise intriguing questions about the evolutionary constraints on DNA sequence with regard to nucleosome formation, and at long last might enable the derivation of DNA sequence-based rules that produce reliable predictions of nucleosome behavior.

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