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Bioessays. 2003 Dec;25(12):1192-200.

Chromatin remodeling by ATP-dependent molecular machines.

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Section of Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0347, USA.


The eukaryotic genome is packaged into a periodic nucleoprotein structure termed chromatin. The repeating unit of chromatin, the nucleosome, consists of DNA that is wound nearly two times around an octamer of histone proteins. To facilitate DNA-directed processes in chromatin, it is often necessary to rearrange or to mobilize the nucleosomes. This remodeling of the nucleosomes is achieved by the action of chromatin-remodeling complexes, which are a family of ATP-dependent molecular machines. Chromatin-remodeling factors share a related ATPase subunit and participate in transcriptional regulation, DNA repair, homologous recombination and chromatin assembly. In this review, we provide an overview of chromatin-remodeling enzymes and discuss two possible mechanisms by which these factors might act to reorganize nucleosome structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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