Nucleosome positioning: how is it established, and why does it matter?

Dev Biol. 2010 Mar 15;339(2):258-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.06.012. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


Packaging of eukaryotic genomes into chromatin affects every process that occurs on DNA. The positioning of nucleosomes on underlying DNA plays a key role in the regulation of these processes, as the nucleosome occludes underlying DNA sequences. Here, we review the literature on mapping nucleosome positions in various organisms, and discuss how nucleosome positions are established, what effect nucleosome positioning has on control of gene expression, and touch on the correlations between chromatin packaging, sequence evolution, and the evolution of gene expression programs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genomics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleosomes