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Bioessays. 1994 Aug;16(8):541-7.

The establishment of active promoters in chromatin.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


The organization of eukaryotic genomes as chromatin provides the framework within which regulated transcription occurs in the nucleus. The association of DNA with chromatin proteins required to package the genome into the nucleus is, in general, inhibitory to transcription, and therefore provides opportunities for regulated transcriptional activation. Granting access to the cis-acting elements in DNA, a prerequisite for any further action of the trans-acting factors involved, requires the establishment of local heterogeneity of chromatin and, in some cases, extensive remodeling of nucleosomal structures. Challenging problems relate to the establishment of this heterogeneity at the level of the single nucleosome and to the mechanisms that operate when nucleosomal arrays are reorganized. Recent developments indicate that chromatin reconstitution in cell-free systems allows the biochemical analysis of the interplay between transcription factors and chromatin components that brings about regulated transcription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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