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Chromosoma. 2006 Apr;115(2):110-22. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

The contradictory definitions of heterochromatin: transcription and silencing.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63130, USA.

Abstract

Eukaryotic genomes are packaged in two general varieties of chromatin: gene-rich euchromatin and gene-poor heterochromatin. Each type of chromatin has been defined by the presence of distinct chromosomal proteins and posttranslational histone modifications. This review addresses recent findings that appear to blur the definitions of euchromatin and heterochromatin by pointing to the presence of typically heterochromatic modifications (including H3K9me) in euchromatin and typically euchromatic enzymes (including RNA polymerases) in heterochromatin. We discuss the implications of these new findings for the current definition of heterochromatin.

PMID:
16506022
DOI:
10.1007/s00412-006-0052-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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