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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2009 Apr;19(2):127-34. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2009.02.001. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Characterization of human epigenomes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Histone modifications play a key role in regulating transcription and thus ultimately regulate cellular development and differentiation. To understand how histone modifications influence normal development and disease states, a global catalogue of histone modifications and modifying enzymes in normal and disease states is necessary. The first such systematic mapping experiments using the recently developed ChIP-Sequencing technique have revealed a combinatorial modification 'backbone' consisting of multiple histone modifications associated with active transcription. The human epigenomic datasets that are now being produced provide valuable resources for a better understanding of the functional regulatory elements of transcription and the pathways necessary for normal cellular development and pathological conditions.

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