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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999 Apr;9(2):185-90.

Chromatin assembly: biochemical identities and genetic redundancy.

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  • 1Unit on Chromatin and Transcription, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bldg. 18T, Room 106, 18 Library Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Investigations on chromatin assembly in vitro implicate chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF1) as a chaperone for histones H3/H4 and nucleosome assembly protein 1 (NAP1) as a chaperone for histones H2A/H2B. Deletion analysis of CAF1 in vivo suggests multiple redundant pathways for deposition of the histones. Histone deposition requires acetylation of the amino-terminal tails and analysis of mutants suggests a specific but redundant role for acetylation of the tails in assembly. Furthermore, studies on the HAT1 acetyltransferase raise the possibility that acetylation of histones occurs following their transport into the nucleus but prior to their deposition onto DNA. Identification of the factors involved in the redundant pathways of assembly is awaited.

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