Chromatin Structure and the Inheritance of Epigenetic Information

Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Apr;11(4):285-96. doi: 10.1038/nrg2752.


Although it is widely accepted that the regulation of the chromatin landscape is pivotal to conveying the epigenetic program, it is still unclear how a defined chromatin domain is reproduced following DNA replication and transmitted from one cell generation to the next. Here, we review the multiple mechanisms that potentially affect the inheritance of epigenetic information in somatic cells. We consider models of how histones might be recycled following replication, and discuss the importance of positive-feedback loops, long-range gene interactions and the complex network of trans-acting factors in the transmission of chromatin states.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA Replication
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • RNA, Untranslated