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Curr Biol. 2003 Jan 8;13(1):R31-8.

Periodic transcription: a cycle within a cycle.

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  • 1Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave. N, 98109-1024, Seattle, WA, USA.


Studies in model organisms indicate that one in every five genes may be subject to cell cycle regulated transcription. Moreover, a high proportion of periodically expressed genes have discrete roles in the cell division process, and their peaks of expression coincide with the interval during which they function. This periodic transcription is commonly regulated by transcription factors that are also periodically transcribed, and there is a growing number of examples where the transcription factors and their targets are conserved in yeast and mammalian cells. As such, it is worth considering why these regulatory circuits persist in such great number, how they are achieved and what role they may play in the cell cycle.

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