Epigenetics and Chromatin

Chromatin is a complex of DNA, RNA, and protein which packages very long DNA molecules into a more compact, denser shape, preventing the strands from becoming tangled, preventing DNA damage, and regulating gene expression and DNA replication. Epigenetic modification of the structural proteins in chromatin via methylation and acetylation also alters local chromatin structure and thus gene expression. The structure of chromatin networks is currently poorly understood and hence is an active area of research in molecular biology.

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