The complex language of chromatin regulation during transcription

Nature. 2007 May 24;447(7143):407-12. doi: 10.1038/nature05915.


An important development in understanding the influence of chromatin on gene regulation has been the finding that DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications lead to the recruitment of protein complexes that regulate transcription. Early interpretations of this phenomenon involved gene regulation reflecting predictive activating or repressing types of modification. However, further exploration reveals that transcription occurs against a backdrop of mixtures of complex modifications, which probably have several roles. Although such modifications were initially thought to be a simple code, a more likely model is of a sophisticated, nuanced chromatin 'language' in which different combinations of basic building blocks yield dynamic functional outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Methylation
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • RNA, Messenger