Replication-Coupled Nucleosome Assembly in the Passage of Epigenetic Information and Cell Identity

Trends Biochem Sci. 2018 Feb;43(2):136-148. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2017.12.003. Epub 2017 Dec 29.


During S phase, replicated DNA must be assembled into nucleosomes using both newly synthesized and parental histones in a process that is tightly coupled to DNA replication. This DNA replication-coupled process is regulated by multitude of histone chaperones as well as by histone-modifying enzymes. In recent years novel insights into nucleosome assembly of new H3-H4 tetramers have been gained through studies on the classical histone chaperone CAF-1 and the identification of novel factors involved in this process. Moreover, in vitro reconstitution of chromatin replication has shed light on nucleosome assembly of parental H3-H4, a process that remains elusive. Finally, recent studies have revealed that the replication-coupled nucleosome assembly is important for the determination and maintenance of cell fate in multicellular organisms.

Keywords: DNA replication; cell fate maintenance; epigenetic inheritance; histone modifications; nucleosome assembly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Lineage / genetics*
  • DNA Replication*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Histone Chaperones / genetics
  • Histone Chaperones / metabolism
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nucleosomes / chemistry
  • Nucleosomes / genetics*
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism


  • Histone Chaperones
  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes