Inheritance of the DNA sequence and its proper organization into chromatin is fundamental for genome stability and function. Therefore, how specific chromatin structures are restored on newly synthesized DNA and transmitted through cell division remains a central question to understand cell fate choices and self-renewal. Propagation of genetic information and chromatin-based information in cycling cells entails genome-wide disruption and restoration of chromatin, coupled with faithful replication of DNA. In this chapter, we describe how cells duplicate the genome while maintaining its proper organization into chromatin. We reveal how specialized replication-coupled mechanisms rapidly assemble newly synthesized DNA into nucleosomes, while the complete restoration of chromatin organization including histone marks is a continuous process taking place throughout the cell cycle. Because failure to reassemble nucleosomes at replication forks blocks DNA replication progression in higher eukaryotes and leads to genomic instability, we further underline the importance of the mechanistic link between DNA replication and chromatin duplication.
Keywords: Chromatin; DNA replication; Epigenetics; Histone chaperone; Histone recycling; Nucleosome assembly.