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The Importance of Chromatin Dynamics for Genetic Activities
Hitoshi Kurumizaka1, Hiroshi Kimura2 and Tokuko Haraguchi3
1 Laboratory of Structural Biology, Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda
University, Tokyo, Japan; 2 Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of
Technology, Yokohama, Japan; 3 National Institute of Information and Communications Technology,
Kobe, Japan.
Presenting author: kurumizaka@waseda.jp (Tel: +81 3 5369 7315)
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information is encoded by the genomic DNA. In eukaryotes, chromatin functions to
accommodate genomic DNA within the nucleus, and the nucleosome, which is the fundamental
unit of chromatin, must have dynamic properties to ensure various DNA metabolisms, such as
DNA replication, recombination, repair, and transcription. The protein components of the
nucleosome are core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4. Non-allelic isoforms of core histones
(called histone variants) have emerged as important components for chromatin dynamics and
functional chromosome landscape. These histone variants result in the structural versatility of
nucleosomes, and may function for regulating the chromatin dynamics. However, these
structural studies of the histone variants only begin to unravel the complex molecular
mechanism of chromatin dynamics. We will present our current studies of nucleosomes
containing histone variants, and discuss their functions in the epigenetic regulation of genomic
Keywords: nucleosome, chromosome, histone, histone variant, nucleus, epigenetics