At the replication fork, nucleosomes, transcription factors and RNA polymerases are stripped off the DNA, the DNA double strands are unzipped and DNA methylation marks may be erased. Therefore DNA replication is both a ‘curse’ and ‘bliss’ for the epigenome, as it disrupts its stability by causing chromatin perturbations, yet it offers an opportunity to initiate changes in chromatin architecture and gene expression patterns, especially during development. Thus the DNA replication site is a critical point for regulation. It has become apparent that there is a close functional relationship between those factors that regulate transcriptional competence and the DNA replication programme. In this review we discuss novel insights into how chromatin-remodelling factors at replication sites are involved in both the maintenance and regulation of transcriptional states.

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