Like a strand of white pearls, DNA wraps around an assembly of special proteins called histones (colored) to form the nucleosome, a structure responsible for regulating genes and condensing DNA strands to fit into the cell's nucleus. Researchers once thought that nucleosomes regulated gene activity through their histone tails (dotted lines), but a recent study revealed that the structures' core also plays a role. This finding sheds light on how gene expression is regulated and how abnormal gene regulation can lead to cancer. Courtesy of Karolin Luger, Colorado State University.
Featured in the May 19, 2010, issue of Biomedical Beat.