HMGN (high-mobility-group N) family members are vertebrate proteins that unfold chromatin and promote transcription and replication of chromatin templates in vitro. However, their precise roles in vivo have been elusive until recently. This paper summarizes recent advances from studies of Hmgn1 knockout mice and genetically engineered cell lines that are beginning to reveal the diverse roles that HMGN proteins play in DNA repair and transcription within mammalian cells.

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