In recent years, our view of how gene expression is controlled has changed dramatically. The discovery of enzymes that modify histones has revealed that transcription is an enzymically driven process. Such modifications can recruit specific proteins and mediate chromatin changes that affect transcription either positively or negatively. Important biological pathways leading to cell proliferation are under the control of these enzymes, and several of them are found deregulated in cancer. The hope is that chromatin-modifying enzymes will be a rich source of targets for drug discovery.
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© 2003 Biochemical Society