Epigenetic inheritance mediated by histone lysine methylation: maintaining transcriptional states without the precise restoration of marks?
In eukaryotic cells, histones are packaged into octameric core particles with DNA wrapping around to form nucleosomes, which are the basic units of chromatin (Kornberg and Thomas, 1974). Multicellular organisms utilise chromatin marks to translate one single genome into hundreds of epigenomes for their corresponding cell types. Inheritance of epigenetic status is critical for the maintenance of gene expression profile during mitotic cell divisions (Allis et al., 2006). During S phase, canonical histones are deposited onto DNA in a replication-coupled manner (Allis et al., 2006). To understand how dividing cells overcome the dilution of epigenetic marks after chromatin duplication, DNA replication coupled (RC) nucleosome assembly has been of great interest. In this review, we focus on the potential influence of RC nucleosome assembly processes on the maintenance of epigenetic status.