Article

Histone Variants in Metazoan Development

Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.
Developmental Cell (Impact Factor: 10.37). 11/2010; 19(5):662-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.10.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Embryonic development is regulated by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, with nearly all DNA-templated processes influenced by chromatin architecture. Sequence variations in histone proteins, core components of chromatin, provide a means to generate diversity in the chromatin structure, resulting in distinct and profound biological outcomes in the developing embryo. Emerging literature suggests that epigenetic contributions from histone variants play key roles in a number of developmental processes such as the initiation and maintenance of pericentric heterochromatin, X-inactivation, and germ cell differentiation. Here, we review the role of histone variants in the embryo with particular emphasis on early mammalian development.

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