ABSTRACT: Chromosomes undergo extensive structural rearrangements during the cell cycle, from the most open chromatin state required for DNA replication to the highest level of compaction and condensation essential for mitotic segregation of sister chromatids. It is now widely accepted that chromatin is a highly dynamic structure that participates in all DNA-related functions, including transcription, DNA replication, repair, and mitosis; hence, histones have emerged as key players in these cellular processes. We review here the studies that implicate histones in functions that affect the chromosome cycle, defined as the cellular processes involved in the maintenance, replication, and segregation of chromosomal DNA. Disruption of the chromosome cycle affects the integrity of the cellular genome, leading to aneuploidy, polyploidy or cell death. Histone stoichiometry, mutations that affect the structure of the nucleosome core particle, and mutations that affect the structure and/or modifications of the histone tails, all have a direct impact on the fidelity of chromosome transmission and the integrity of the genome.
Frontiers in Bioscience 01/2012; 17:984-95. · 3.52 Impact Factor