To achieve high compaction, most genomic DNA in eukaryotes is incorporated into nucleosomes; however, regulatory factors and transcriptional machinery must gain access to chromatin to extract genetic information. This conflict is partially resolved by a particular arrangement of nucleosome locations on the genome. Across all eukaryotic species, promoters and other regulatory sequences are more nucleosome-depleted, whereas transcribed regions tend to be occupied with well-positioned, high-density nucleosomal arrays. This nucleosome positioning pattern, as well as its dynamic regulation, facilitates the access of transcription factors to their target sites and plays a crucial role in determining the transcription level, cell-to-cell variation and activation or repression dynamics.
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