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Histone proteins play a crucial role in the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. In a study published in the journal New Phytologist, scientists at IRIG have used a novel approach in plants to decipher the true functional impact of histones, revealing the key role of a modification carried by histone H3, in cell fate and metabolic regulation of stem lignin composition.
Eukaryotic DNA, by associating with histones, is organized into a structure named chromatin. On this chromatin, the so-called epigenetic marks allow precise and dynamic control of gene expression, which is necessary for the proper deployment of developmental programs. Among these marks, the post-translational modifications carried by histones have thus far been studied using mutants for the enzymes that catalyze them. This strategy has led to significant advances in the field of epigenetics. However, the multiple and redundant functions of the studied enzymes have prevented depicting the precise role of histone residues and the marks they carry.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.