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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2008 Apr;18(2):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

HP1: a functionally multifaceted protein.

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Istituto Pasteur, Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia molecolare, Università La Sapienza, 00185 Roma, Italy.


HP1 (heterochromatin protein 1) is a nonhistone chromosomal protein first discovered in Drosophila melanogaster because of its association with heterochromatin. Numerous studies have shown that such a protein plays a role in heterochromatin formation and gene silencing in many organisms, including fungi and animals. Cytogenetic and molecular studies, performed in Drosophila and other organisms, have revealed that HP1 associates with heterochromatin, telomeres and multiple euchromatic sites. There is increasing evidence that the different locations of HP1 are related to multiple different functions. In fact, recent work has shown that HP1 has a role not only in heterochromatin formation and gene silencing, but also in telomere stability and in positive regulation of gene expression.

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