Multivalent engagement of chromatin modifications by linked binding modules

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Dec;8(12):983-94. doi: 10.1038/nrm2298.


Various chemical modifications on histones and regions of associated DNA play crucial roles in genome management by binding specific factors that, in turn, serve to alter the structural properties of chromatin. These so-called effector proteins have typically been studied with the biochemist's paring knife--the capacity to recognize specific chromatin modifications has been mapped to an increasing number of domains that frequently appear in the nuclear subset of the proteome, often present in large, multisubunit complexes that bristle with modification-dependent binding potential. We propose that multivalent interactions on a single histone tail and beyond may have a significant, if not dominant, role in chromatin transactions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly*
  • Histone Code*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans


  • Chromatin
  • Histones