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Mutat Res. 2008 Dec 1;647(1-2):13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Linking Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) to cancer progression.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, 3136 MERF, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Abstract

All cells of a given organism contain nearly identical genetic information, yet tissues display unique gene expression profiles. This specificity is in part due to transcriptional control by epigenetic mechanisms that involve post-translational modifications of histones. These modifications affect the folding of the chromatin fiber and serve as binding sites for non-histone chromosomal proteins. Here we discuss functions of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 (HP1) family of proteins that recognize H3K9me, an epigenetic mark generated by the histone methyltransferases SU(VAR)3-9 and orthologues. Loss of HP1 proteins causes chromosome segregation defects and lethality in some organisms; a reduction in levels of HP1 family members is associated with cancer progression in humans. These consequences are likely due to the role of HP1 in centromere stability, telomere capping and the regulation of euchromatic and heterochromatic gene expression.

PMID:
18926834
PMCID:
PMC2637788
DOI:
10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.09.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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