Nucleosomes in the Neighborhood: New Roles for Chromatin Modifications in Replication Origin Control

Epigenetics. 2011 May;6(5):552-9. doi: 10.4161/epi.6.5.15082. Epub 2011 May 1.


The importance of local chromatin structure in regulating replication initiation has become increasingly apparent. Most recently, histone methylation and nucleosome positioning have been added to the list of modifications demonstrated to regulate origins. In particular, the methylation states of H3K4, H3K36 and H4K20 have been associated with establishing active, repressed or poised origins depending on the timing and extent of methylation. The stability and precise positioning of nucleosomes has also been demonstrated to affect replication efficiency. Although it is not yet clear how these modifications alter the behavior of specific replication factors, ample evidence establishes their role in maintaining coordinated replication. This review will summarize recent advances in understanding these aspects of chromatin structure in DNA replication origin control.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • Epigenomics*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Replication Origin / genetics*


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes