Emerging Chemistry Strategies for Engineering Native Chromatin.
Chromosomes present one of most challenging of all substrates for biochemical study. This is because genomic DNA is physically associated with an astonishing collection of nuclear factors, which serve to not only store the nucleic acid in a stable form, but also grant access to the information it encodes when needed. Understanding this complex molecular choreography is central to the field of epigenetics. One of the great challenges in this area is to move beyond correlative type information, which is now in abundant supply, to the point where we can truly connect the dots at the molecular level. Establishing such causal relationships requires precise manipulation of the covalent structure of chromatin. Tools for this purpose are currently in short supply, creating an opportunity that, as we will argue in this Perspective, is well suited to the sensibilities of the chemist.