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Development. 2007 Jan;134(2):223-32.

Polycomb/Trithorax response elements and epigenetic memory of cell identity.

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  • 1IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH, Dr Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030 Vienna, Austria. ringrose@imp.univie.ac.at


Polycomb/Trithorax group response elements (PRE/TREs) are fascinating chromosomal pieces. Just a few hundred base pairs long, these elements can remember and maintain the active or silent transcriptional state of their associated genes for many cell generations, long after the initial determining activators and repressors have disappeared. Recently, substantial progress has been made towards understanding the nuts and bolts of PRE/TRE function at the molecular level and in experimentally mapping PRE/TRE sites across whole genomes. Here we examine the insights, controversies and new questions that have been generated by this recent flood of data.

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