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Nature. 2010 Jan 28;463(7280):474-84. doi: 10.1038/nature08911.

Chromatin remodelling during development.

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  • 1Stanford University Medical School, Room B211, Beckman Center, 279 Campus Drive, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


New methods for the genome-wide analysis of chromatin are providing insight into its roles in development and their underlying mechanisms. Current studies indicate that chromatin is dynamic, with its structure and its histone modifications undergoing global changes during transitions in development and in response to extracellular cues. In addition to DNA methylation and histone modification, ATP-dependent enzymes that remodel chromatin are important controllers of chromatin structure and assembly, and are major contributors to the dynamic nature of chromatin. Evidence is emerging that these chromatin-remodelling enzymes have instructive and programmatic roles during development. Particularly intriguing are the findings that specialized assemblies of ATP-dependent remodellers are essential for establishing and maintaining pluripotent and multipotent states in cells.

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