Covalent modifications of histones during development and disease pathogenesis

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2007 Nov;14(11):1008-16. doi: 10.1038/nsmb1337. Epub 2007 Nov 5.


Covalent modifications of histones are central to the regulation of chromatin dynamics, and, therefore, many biological processes involving chromatin, such as replication, repair, transcription and genome stability, are regulated by chromatin and its modifications. In this review, we discuss the biochemical, molecular and genetic properties of the enzymatic machinery involved in four different types of histone modification: acetylation, ubiquitination, phosphorylation and methylation. We also discuss how perturbation of the activity of this enzymatic machinery can cause developmental defects and disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Disease*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Methylation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Ubiquitination


  • Chromatin
  • Histones