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Cell Cycle. 2009 Mar 15;8(6):818-23. Epub 2009 Mar 14.

Mitotic bookmarking of formerly active genes: keeping epigenetic memories from fading.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40536, USA.


In order for cell lineages to be maintained, daughter cells must have the same patterns of gene expression as the cells from which they were divided so that they can have the same phenotypes. However, during mitosis transcription ceases, chromosomal DNA is compacted, and most sequence-specific binding factors dissociate from DNA, making it difficult to understand how the "memory" of gene expression patterns is remembered and propagated to daughter cells. The process of remembering patterns of active gene expression during mitosis for transmission to daughter cells is called gene bookmarking. Here we discuss current knowledge concerning the factors and mechanisms involved in mediating gene bookmarking, including recent results on the mechanism by which the general transcription factor TBP participates in the mitotic bookmarking of formerly active genes.

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