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Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Jan;8(1):35-46.

Heterochromatin revisited.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The formation of heterochromatin, which requires methylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 and the subsequent recruitment of chromodomain proteins such as heterochromatin protein HP1, serves as a model for the role of histone modifications and chromatin assembly in epigenetic control of the genome. Recent studies in Schizosaccharomyces pombe indicate that heterochromatin serves as a dynamic platform to recruit and spread a myriad of regulatory proteins across extended domains to control various chromosomal processes, including transcription, chromosome segregation and long-range chromatin interactions.

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