Tuesday, August 15, 2006

PNAS Profile of David Allis

Once again, if you subscribe to PNAS, you can read another profile I've written, this time on David Allis, a biochemist at Rockefeller University, who studies histones.

Without histone proteins, DNA strands would be little more than chaotic tangles. In the last decade, biologists and biochemists have found that histones, essential for packaging DNA in all eukaryotic cells, are not merely storage structures, but they also provide an active platform for DNA modification and remodeling, resulting in dynamic regulation of the genetic template. Biochemist C. David Allis has helped elucidate much of this knowledge and has played a major role in ushering in the modern era of chromatin biology. Consisting of DNA, histones, and other proteins, chromatin is the building block of chromosomes, and modifications to histones and chromatin may help extend the informational content of DNA.