Eukaryotic genomes are packaged into a nucleoprotein complex known as chromatin, which affects most processes that occur on DNA. Along with genetic and biochemical studies of resident chromatin proteins and their modifying enzymes, mapping of chromatin structure in vivo is one of the main pillars in our understanding of how chromatin relates to cellular processes. In this review, we discuss the use of genomic technologies to characterize chromatin structure in vivo, with a focus on data from budding yeast and humans. The picture emerging from these studies is the detailed chromatin structure of a typical gene, where the typical behavior gives insight into the mechanisms and deep rules that establish chromatin structure. Important deviation from the archetype is also observed, usually as a consequence of unique regulatory mechanisms at special genomic loci. Chromatin structure shows substantial conservation from yeast to humans, but mammalian chromatin has additional layers of complexity that likely relate to the requirements of multicellularity such as the need to establish faithful gene regulatory mechanisms for cell differentiation.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev.biochem.78.071107.134639
View details for Web of Science ID 000268069200011
View details for PubMedID 19317649
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2811691