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Trends Biochem Sci. 2000 Mar;25(3):121-6.

Histone deacetylases: silencers for hire.

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  • 1Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, UK EH9 3JR.


Over the past few years, the long-standing idea that covalent modification of chromatin can play a role in determining states of gene activity has been confirmed. Eukaryotic genes can be silenced by deacetylation of acetyl-lysine moieties in the N-terminal tails of histones. Recent work links histone deacetylases with an increasing number of repressors, suggesting that deacetylation might be a rather pervasive feature of transcriptional repression systems.

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