Chromosomal histone modification patterns--from conservation to diversity

Trends Plant Sci. 2006 Apr;11(4):199-208. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2006.02.008. Epub 2006 Mar 20.


The organization of DNA into chromatin regulates expression and maintenance (replication, repair, recombination, segregation) of genetic information in a dynamic manner. The N-terminal tails of the nucleosomal core histones are subjected to post-translational modifications such as acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination, glycosylation, ADP-ribosylation, carbonylation and sumoylation. These modifications, together with DNA methylation, control the folding of the nucleosomal array into higher order structures and mediate signalling for cellular processes. Although histones and their modifications are highly conserved, recent data show that chromosomal distribution of individual modifications (acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation) can differ along the cell cycle as well as among and between groups of eukaryotes. This implies the possibility of evolutionary divergence in reading the "histone code".

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Cell Nucleus Division
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • DNA Methylation
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Histone Code*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Hordeum / genetics
  • Hordeum / metabolism
  • Hordeum / ultrastructure
  • Methylation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Vicia faba / genetics
  • Vicia faba / metabolism
  • Vicia faba / ultrastructure


  • Histones