Cryo-electron microscopy of chromatin biology

Marcus D. Wilson*, Alessandro Costa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The basic unit of chromatin, the nucleosome core particle (NCP), controls how DNA in eukaryotic cells is compacted, replicated and read. Since its discovery, biochemists have sought to understand how this protein-DNA complex can help to control so many diverse tasks. Recent electron-microscopy (EM) studies on NCP-containing assemblies have helped to describe important chromatin transactions at a molecular level. With the implementation of recent technical advances in single-particle EM, our understanding of how nucleosomes are recognized and read looks to take a leap forward. In this review, the authors highlight recent advances in the architectural understanding of chromatin biology elucidated by EM.This review article summarizes recent progress in our understanding of chromatin biology based on single-particle cryo-electron microscopy studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-548
Number of pages8
JournalActa Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology
Issue number6
Early online date20 Apr 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2017


  • chromatin
  • cryo-electron microscopy
  • cryo-EM
  • histone modification
  • integrase
  • nucleosome


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