We review this month the role(s) of bromodomains (BRDs), evolutionary conserved protein–protein interaction modules that are found in a wide range of proteins with diverse catalytic and scaffolding functions, present in most tissues. BRDs selectively recognize and bind to acetylated lysine residues, particularly acetylated histones and thereby play important roles in regulating gene expression. BRD-containing proteins are frequently deregulated in cancer, they participate in gene fusions, generating diverse, frequently pro-oncogenic protein products and many mutations have been mapped to the BRDs themselves. Importantly, BRDs can be targeted by small molecule inhibitors, stimulating many translational research projects seeking to attenuate the aberrant functions of BRD-containing proteins in disease.
Read more online at Nature Reviews Molecular & Cell Biology.