Zhu et al., Nature, 2018


The packaging of DNA on nucleosomes makes it more difficult for transcription factors to access DNA. This new study shows that these proteins have evolved several different mechanisms to get around the problem, allowing them to read the important messages in our genome that tell cells how to construct and maintain our tissues and organs.

The reported findings uncover a rich, interactive landscape between transcription factors and the nucleosome, thus paving a way to a thorough understanding of the complicated DNA decoding mechanisms in higher organisms. The findings also provide a basis for future studies aimed at understanding transcriptional regulation based on biochemical principles. As aberrant transcription factor activity is linked to many human diseases, including cancer, the findings are also relevant to understanding mechanisms of human disease.

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