Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 170–177 | Cite as

Structure and mechanism of plant histone mark readers



In eukaryotes, epigenetic-based mechanisms are involved in almost all the important biological processes. Amongst different epigenetic regulation pathways, the dynamic covalent modifications on histones are the most extensively investigated and characterized types. The covalent modifications on histone can be “read” by specific protein domains and then subsequently trigger downstream signaling events. Plants generally possess epigenetic regulation systems similar to animals and fungi, but also exhibit some plant-specific features. Similar to animals and fungi, plants require distinct protein domains to specifically “read” modified histones in both modification-specific and sequence-specific manners. In this review, we will focus on recent progress of the structural studies on the recognition of the epigenetic marks on histones by plant reader proteins, and further summarize the general and exceptional features of plant histone mark readers.


epigenetics histone mark histone modifications structure plant 


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This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0503200), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31622032), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to Jiamu Du.


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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