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Nat Rev Genet. 2014 Apr;15(4):259-71. doi: 10.1038/nrg3673. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

Every amino acid matters: essential contributions of histone variants to mammalian development and disease.

Author information

1
1] Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, The Rockefeller University, New York 10065, USA. [2].
2
Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, The Rockefeller University, New York 10065, USA.

Abstract

Despite a conserved role for histones as general DNA packaging agents, it is now clear that another key function of these proteins is to confer variations in chromatin structure to ensure dynamic patterns of transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes. The incorporation of histone variants is particularly important to this process. Recent knockdown and knockout studies in various cellular systems, as well as direct mutational evidence from human cancers, now suggest a crucial role for histone variant regulation in processes as diverse as differentiation and proliferation, meiosis and nuclear reprogramming. In this Review, we provide an overview of histone variants in the context of their unique functions during mammalian germ cell and embryonic development, and examine the consequences of aberrant histone variant regulation in human disease.

PMID:
24614311
PMCID:
PMC4082118
DOI:
10.1038/nrg3673
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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