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Last update: May 2021

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UR 1264 - MYCSA : Mycologie et securite des aliments


Mycologie & Sécurité des Aliments
INRA Bordeaux-Aquitaine
BP 81
33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex

Post-Translational Modifications of Histones are Versatile Regulators of Fungal Development and Secondary Metabolism

17 June 2022

Histone post-translational modifications
A review article publishedi in Toxins

Etier A., Dumetz F., Chéreau S., Ponts N. (2022). Post-translational modifications of histones are versatile regulators of fungal development and secondary metabolism. Toxins 14, 317.


Chromatin structure is a major regulator of DNA-associated processes, such as transcription, DNA repair, and replication. Histone post-translational modifications, or PTMs, play a key role on chromatin dynamics. PTMs are involved in a wide range of biological processes in eukaryotes, including fungal species. Their deposition/removal and their underlying functions have been extensively investigated in yeasts but much less in other fungi. Nonetheless, the major role of histone PTMs in regulating primary and secondary metabolisms of filamentous fungi, including human and plant pathogens, has been pinpointed. In this review, an overview of major identified PTMs and their respective functions in fungi is provided, with a focus on filamentous fungi when knowledge is available. To date, most of these studies investigated histone acetylations and methylations, but the development of new methodologies and technologies increasingly allows the wider exploration of other PTMs, such as phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, sumoylation, and acylation. Considering the increasing number of known PTMs and the full range of their possible interactions, investigations of the subsequent Histone Code, i.e., the biological consequence of the combinatorial language of all histone PTMs, from a functional point of view, are exponentially complex. Better knowledge about histone PTMs would make it possible to efficiently fight plant or human contamination, avoid the production of toxic secondary metabolites, or optimize the industrial biosynthesis of certain beneficial compounds.Keywords: chromatin; mycotoxins; metabolites; histone code