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Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Feb;87(1):35-50. doi: 10.1139/O08-140.

Connection between histone H2A variants and chromatin remodeling complexes.

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Laval University Cancer Research Center, Hotel-Dieu de Quebec, Quebec City, QCG1R2J6, Canada.


The organization of the eukaryotic genome into chromatin makes it inaccessible to the factors required for gene transcription and DNA replication, recombination, and repair. In addition to histone-modifying enzymes and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, which play key roles in regulating many nuclear processes by altering the chromatin structure, cells have developed a mechanism of modulating chromatin structure by incorporating histone variants. These variants are incorporated into specific regions of the genome throughout the cell cycle. H2A.Z, which is an evolutionarily conserved H2A variant, performs several seemingly unrelated and even contrary functions. Another H2A variant, H2A.X, plays a very important role in the cellular response to DNA damage. This review summarizes the recent developments in our understanding of the role of H2A.Z and H2A.X in the regulation of chromatin structure and function, focusing on their functional links with chromatin modifying and remodeling complexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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