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Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Sep;3(9):662-73.

Chromatin modification and epigenetic reprogramming in mammalian development.

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Cardiovascular Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


The developmental programme of embryogenesis is controlled by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. An emerging theme from recent studies is that the regulation of higher-order chromatin structures by DNA methylation and histone modification is crucial for genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, and for tissue-specific gene expression and global gene silencing. Disruptions to chromatin modification can lead to the dysregulation of developmental processes, such as X-chromosome inactivation and genomic imprinting, and to various diseases. Understanding the process of epigenetic reprogramming in development is important for studies of cloning and the clinical application of stem-cell therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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