Since their discovery in the mid-1990s, nuclear actin-related proteins (ARPs) have gained attention for their roles as structural components of ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes. These remodelers can move nucleosomes along the DNA, evict them from chromatin, and exchange histone variants to alter chromatin states locally. Chromatin-remodeling facilitates DNA-templated processes such as transcription regulation, DNA replication, and repair. Consistent with a role for ARPs in shaping chromatin structure, recent genetic studies show that they affect developmental and cell-type specific transcriptional programming. Here, we focus on recent results that suggest a specific contribution of ARPs to long-range interactions in the nucleus, and review evidence indicating that some ARPs may act independently of chromatin-remodeling machines.
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