Chromatosome Structure and Dynamics from Molecular Simulations

Mehmet Ali Öztürk, Madhura De, Vlad Cojocaru, Rebecca C Wade

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Chromatosomes are fundamental units of chromatin structure that are formed when a linker histone protein binds to a nucleosome. The positioning of the linker histone on the nucleosome influences the packing of chromatin. Recent simulations and experiments have shown that chromatosomes adopt an ensemble of structures that differ in the geometry of the linker histone-nucleosome interaction. In this article we review the application of Brownian, Monte Carlo, and molecular dynamics simulations to predict the structure of linker histone-nucleosome complexes, to study the binding mechanisms involved, and to predict how this binding affects chromatin fiber structure. These simulations have revealed the sensitivityof the chromatosome structure to variations in DNA and linker histone sequence, as well as to posttranslational modifications, thereby explaining the structural variability observed in experiments. We propose that a concerted application of experimental and computational approaches will reveal the determinants of chromatosome structural variability and how it impacts chromatin packing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-119
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual review of physical chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020


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