CHD chromatin remodelling enzymes and the DNA damage response

Mutat Res. 2013 Oct;750(1-2):31-44. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2013.07.008. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


The protein and DNA complex known as chromatin is a dynamic structure, adapting to alter the spatial arrangement of genetic information within the nucleus to meet the ever changing demands of life. Following decades of research, a dizzying array of regulatory factors is now known to control the architecture of chromatin at nearly every level. Amongst these, ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling enzymes play a key role, required for the establishment, maintenance and re-organization of chromatin through their ability to adjust the contact points between DNA and histones, the spacing between individual nucleosomes and the over-arching chromatin superstructure. Utilizing energy from ATP hydrolysis, these enzymes serve as the gatekeepers of genomic access and are essential for transcriptional regulation, DNA replication and cell division. In recent years, a vital role in DNA Double Strand Break (DSB) repair has emerged, particularly within complex chromatin environments such as heterochromatin, or regions undergoing energetic transactions such as transcription or DNA replication. Here, we will provide an overview of what is understood about ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling enzymes in the context of the DNA damage response. We will first touch upon all four major chromatin remodelling enzyme families and then focus chiefly on the nine members of the Chromodomain, Helicase, DNA-binding (CHD) family, particularly CHD3, CHD4, CHD5 and CHD6. These four proteins have established and emerging roles in DNA repair, the oxidative stress response, the maintenance of genomic stability and/or cancer prevention.

Keywords: CHD3; CHD4; CHD5; CHD6; Chromatin remodelling; DNA double strand break response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA Damage / genetics*
  • DNA Helicases / physiology*
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Helicases