There has been a ton of interesting data on the relationship between DNA methylation, histone modifications, and transcriptional control in recent years. We love hearing about these advances at conferences, but die-hard chromatin biologists tend to rattle off histone modification combos that sound like a football quarterback about to take a snap “H3K27-trimethyl, K9, hike…,”
At EpiGenie, chromatin code isn’t our first language, so if you’re like us and are always down to catch up on recent data highlighting the relationship H3K4 methylation and DNA methylation, or maybe which methylation mark on H3K29 correlates with which transcriptional state in a stress/jargon-free environment, you’ll want to check out a recent Nature Review article we stumbled upon last week.
The authors review recent evidence that shows a relationship between DNA methylation and histone modification, describing, the two-way relationship that occurs in mammalian development, where histone methylation can direct DNA methylation, and DNA methylation can serve as a template for histone modifications after DNA replication.
They also describe how the two systems both modulate gene expression using different mechanisms, DNA methylation providing more permanent regulation while histone modifications more readily reversed. They wrap it up with by discussing how the relationships between these modifications are critical to understanding the epigenetic components of key events like cellular reprogramming and tumorigenesis. For the whole story go to Nature Reviews Genetics, March 2009