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The chromatin organization modifier domain (chromodomain) was first identified as a motif associated with chromatin silencing in Drosophila. There is growing evidence that chromodomains are evolutionary conserved across different eukaryotic species to control diverse aspects of epigenetic regulation. Although originally reported as histone H3 methyllysine readers, the chromodomain functions have now expanded to recognition of other histone and non-histone partners as well as interaction with nucleic acids. Chromodomain binding to a diverse group of targets is mediated by a conserved substructure called the chromobox homology region. This motif can be used to predict methyllysine binding and distinguish chromodomains from related Tudor "Royal" family members. In this review, we discuss and classify various chromodomains according to their context, structure and the mechanism of target recognition.

Original publication




Journal article


Critical reviews in biochemistry and molecular biology

Publication Date





507 - 526


Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, FL, USA.


Chromatin, Animals, Humans, Lysine, Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone, Histones, Epigenesis, Genetic, Amino Acid Sequence, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data