Chromatin domains as potential units of eukaryotic gene function

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1994 Apr;4(2):260-4. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(05)80053-x.


Many current models for eukaryotic gene activation and regulation postulate that higher order chromatin structures act as major modulators of gene function. Genetic evidence suggests that nucleosomes and more specifically targeted proteins, such as Polycomb in Drosophila and SIR3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are involved in creating repressive chromatin structures. In addition, the discovery of locus control regions in vertebrates suggests that the primary information for gene activation can reside entirely in specific combinations of transcription factor binding sites. Difficulties associated with experimental design and interpretation make the investigation of whether domains have discrete functional boundaries problematic, and the concept of the chromatin domain as an integrated structural and functional unit remains to be established.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes / physiology*


  • Chromatin