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Mutat Res. 2008 Dec 1;647(1-2):68-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.07.014. Epub 2008 Aug 7.

Epigenetics of beta-globin gene regulation.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


It is widely recognized that the next great challenge in the post-genomic period is to understand how the genome establishes the cell and tissue specific patterns of gene expression that underlie development. The beta-globin genes are among the most extensively studied tissue specific and developmentally regulated genes. The onset of erythropoiesis in precursor cells and the progressive expression of different members of the beta-globin family during development are accompanied by dramatic epigenetic changes in the locus. In this review, we will consider the relationship between histone and DNA modifications and the transcriptional activity of the beta-globin genes, the dynamic changes in epigenetic modifications observed during erythroid development, and the potential these changes hold as new targets for therapy in human disease.

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