Chromatin Remodelling: The Industrial Revolution of DNA Around Histones

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Jun;7(6):437-47. doi: 10.1038/nrm1945.


Chromatin remodellers are specialized multi-protein machines that enable access to nucleosomal DNA by altering the structure, composition and positioning of nucleosomes. All remodellers have a catalytic ATPase subunit that is similar to known DNA-translocating motor proteins, suggesting DNA translocation as a unifying aspect of their mechanism. Here, we explore the diversity and specialization of chromatin remodellers, discuss how nucleosome modifications regulate remodeller activity and consider a model for the exposure of nucleosomal DNA that involves the use of directional DNA translocation to pump 'DNA waves' around the nucleosome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly*
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*


  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes
  • DNA