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Trends Genet. 2007 Aug;23(8):403-12. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

Unwinding chromatin for development and growth: a few genes at a time.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.


SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling ATPases control accessibility of the information stored in the genome. However, the in vivo role of these remodelers has remained poorly understood because null mutations in these result in embryonic lethality in most organisms. Recently, the study of conditional mutants in mammals and viable null mutants in plants, combined with genome wide expression studies in mammals, flies and plants, have implicated chromatin remodeling ATPases in the regulation of many developmental pathways in multicellular eukaryotes. In addition, these studies reveal striking functional specificity for chromatin remodeling in individual developmental processes.

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