Jump to Main Content
Histone Marks in the ‘Driver’s Seat’: Functional Roles in Steering the Transcription Cycle
- Gates, Leah A., Foulds, Charles E., O’Malley, Bert W.
- Trends in biochemical sciences 2017 v.42 no.12 pp. 977-989
- DNA-directed RNA polymerase, chromatin, genes, histones, transcription (genetics)
- Particular chromatin modifications are associated with different states of gene transcription, yet our understanding of which modifications are causal ‘drivers’ in promoting transcription is incomplete. Here, we discuss new developments describing the ordered, mechanistic role of select histone marks occurring during distinct steps in the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcription cycle. In particular, we highlight the interplay between histone marks in specifying the ‘next step’ of transcription. While many studies have described correlative relationships between histone marks and their occupancy at distinct gene regions, we focus on studies that elucidate clear functional consequences of specific histone marks during different stages of transcription. These recent discoveries have refined our current mechanistic understanding of how histone marks promote Pol II transcriptional progression.