Replicating and transcribing on twisted roads of chromatin

Sumanprava Giri, Supriya G. Prasanth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromatin, a complex of DNA and proteins in the eukaryotic cell nucleus governs various cellular processes including DNA replication, DNA repair and transcription. Chromatin architecture and dynamics dictates the timing of cellular events by regulating proteins' accessibility to DNA as well as by acting as a scaffold for protein-protein interactions. Nucleosome, the basic unit of chromatin consists of a histone octamer comprised of (H3-H4)2 tetramer and two H2A-H2B dimers on which 146 bp of DNA is wrapped around ∼1.6 times. Chromatin changes brought about by histone modifications, histone-modifying enzymes, chromatin remodeling factors, histone chaperones, histone variants and chromatin dynamics influence the regulation and timing of gene expression. Similarly, the timing of DNA replication is dependent on the chromatin context that in turn dictates origin selection. Further, during the process of DNA replication, not only does an organism's DNA have to be accurately replicated but also the chromatin structure and the epigenetic marks have to be faithfully transmitted to the daughter cells. Active transcription has been shown to repress replication while at the same time it has been shown that when origins are located at promoters, because of enhanced chromatin accessibility, they fire efficiently. In this review, we focus on how chromatin modulates two fundamental processes, DNA replication and transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberelr047
Pages (from-to)188-204
Number of pages17
JournalBriefings in Functional Genomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Chromatin
  • Epigenetic regulation
  • Histones modifications
  • Replication
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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