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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2002 Apr;12(2):178-87.

Heterochromatin: new possibilities for the inheritance of structure.

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  • 1Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA. grewal@cshl.org


Significant portions of the eukaryotic genome are heterochromatic, made up largely of repetitious sequences and possessing a distinctive chromatin structure associated with gene silencing. New insights into the form of packaging, the associated histone modifications, and the associated nonhistone chromosomal proteins of heterochromatin have suggested a mechanism for providing an epigenetic mark that allows this distinctive chromatin structure to be maintained following replication and to spread within a given domain.

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