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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2009;273:1-47. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)01801-7.

Cellular mechanism for targeting heterochromatin formation in Drosophila.

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Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


Near the end of their 1990 historical perspective article "60 Years of Mystery," Spradling and Karpen (1990) observe: "Recent progress in understanding variegation at the molecular level has encouraged some workers to conclude that the heterochromatization model is essentially correct and that position-effect variegation can now join the mainstream of molecular biology." In the 18 years since those words were written, heterochromatin and its associated position effects have indeed joined the mainstream of molecular biology. Here, we review the findings that led to our current understanding of heterochromatin formation in Drosophila and the mechanistic insights into heterochromatin structural and functional properties gained through molecular genetics and cytology.

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