34 Scopus citations


Cancer is a complex disease characterized by loss of cellular homeostasis through genetic and epigenetic alterations. Emerging evidence highlights a role for histone variants and their dedicated chaperones in cancer initiation and progression. Histone variants are involved in processes as diverse as maintenance of genome integrity, nuclear architecture and cell identity. On a molecular level, histone variants add a layer of complexity to the dynamic regulation of transcription, DNA replication and repair, and mitotic chromosome segregation. Because these functions are critical to ensure normal proliferation and maintenance of cellular fate, cancer cells are defined by their capacity to subvert them. Hijacking histone variants and their chaperones is emerging as a common means to disrupt homeostasis across a wide range of cancers, particularly solid tumours. Here we discuss histone variants and histone chaperones as tumour-promoting or tumour-suppressive players in the pathogenesis of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-275
Number of pages19
JournalNature Reviews Cancer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


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