Is It a Code: The Debate

FEATUREEpigenetics Is It a Code: The Debate Yes: An epigenetic histone code may allow for unprecedented predictive power BY BRYAN M. TURNERARTICLE EXTRASRelated Articles: The Nucleosome UntangledHistones serve as slates to a dizzying array of modifications, but researchers are confident they can decipher the epigenetic puzzle.The nuclear signaling networks that operate through chromatin de

Bryan M. Turner and Steven Henikoff
May 1, 2006
FEATURE
Epigenetics

Is It a Code: The Debate

Yes: An epigenetic histone code may allow for unprecedented predictive power

The nuclear signaling networks that operate through chromatin define the mechanisms by which genomes interact with the environment. Posttranslational modifications to histone tails act and interact in many different ways, and discoveries of complex and "cross-talking" phenomena appear regularly. Given that we seem to be making perfectly good progress with no more than sound protein biochemistry, what is to be gained by postulating a histone or epigenetic code?

The short answer is that a code takes us into a new dimension by addressing the possibility that environmental effects may be inherited from one cell generation to the next and possibly through the germ line....

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