My name is Alain Verreault, and
I'm an associate professor in
the Department of Pathology and
Cell Biology at
the University of Montreal.
And my group studies
nucleosome assembly during DNA
replication at the Institute for
Research in Immunology and Cancer.
The aim of this lecture is
to describe the process of
nucleosome assembly coupled
to DNA replication.
I also intend to explain some
of the physiological and
biomedical implications of this
important but poorly understood pathway.
references to original papers or
reviews are indicated at
the bottom of each slide.
I've divided this lecture
into four sections.
First, I'll describe the generic
structure of chromatin.
In the second part,
I will present an overview of chromatin
rearrangements that occur during
S-phase of the cell cycle.
The third portion of my presentation
will focus on the replication-coupled
And the final segment of the lecture
will describe some of the biomedical
implications of replication-coupled
The primary function of histones
in chromatin is to package DNA
within the cell nucleus.
The sheer magnitude of DNA compaction
that is necessary to package
human DNA can be illustrated
with a few telling numbers.
Each cell in the human body contains a
total length of about 2 meters of DNA that
is confined within a cell nucleus whose
diameter is only about 10 micrometers.
A simple calculation reveals
that the total length of DNA
in an average-sized human body
is equivalent to a staggering
1,500 round trips from
the Earth to the sun.
The obvious challenge is to
package this enormous amount of
DNA in a form that allows regulated access
to genetic information whenever necessary.