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Science. 2010 Oct 29;330(6004):629-32. doi: 10.1126/science.1191081.

Epigenetics in the extreme: prions and the inheritance of environmentally acquired traits.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Abstract

Prions are an unusual form of epigenetics: Their stable inheritance and complex phenotypes come about through protein folding rather than nucleic acid-associated changes. With intimate ties to protein homeostasis and a remarkable sensitivity to stress, prions are a robust mechanism that links environmental extremes with the acquisition and inheritance of new traits.

PMID:
21030648
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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