Genesis of chromatin and transcription dynamics in the origin of species

Cell. 2015 May 7;161(4):724-36. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.04.033.


Histone proteins compact and stabilize the genomes of Eukarya and Archaea. By forming nucleosome(-like) structures they restrict access of DNA-binding transcription regulators to cis-regulatory DNA elements. Dynamic competition between histones and transcription factors is facilitated by different classes of proteins including ATP-dependent remodeling enzymes that control assembly, access, and editing of chromatin. Here, we summarize the knowledge on dynamics underlying transcriptional regulation across the domains of life with a focus on ATP-dependent enzymes in chromatin structure or in TATA-binding protein activity. These insights suggest directions for future studies on the evolution of transcription regulation and chromatin dynamics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / classification
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly*
  • Eukaryota / classification*
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Eukaryota / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA Polymerase II