Gentry M, Hennig L
Exp. Cell Res. 321 (1) 40-46 [2014-02-01; online 2013-11-20]
Establishment and dynamic regulation of a higher order chromatin structure is an essential component of development. Chromatin remodelling complexes such as the SWI2/SNF2 family of ATP-dependent chromatin remodellers can alter chromatin architecture by changing nucleosome positioning or substituting histones with histone variants. These remodellers often act in concert with chromatin modifiers such as the polycomb group proteins which confer repressive states through modification of histone tails. These mechanisms are highly conserved across the eukaryotic kingdom although in plants, owing to the maintenance of dedifferentiated cell states that allow for post-embyronic changes in development, strict control of chromatin remodelling is even more paramount. Recent and ongoing studies in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana have found that while the major families of the SWI2/SNF2 ATPase chromatin remodellers are represented, a number of redundancies and divergent functions have emerged that show a break from the roles of their metazoan counterparts. This review focusses on the SNF2 and CHD families of ATP-dependent remodellers and their roles in plant development.