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Curr Biol. 2011 Feb 22;21(4):R146-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.005.

Maintaining a memory by transcriptional autoregulation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.


One of the key features of cellular differentiation programs is stability. Although differentiation is reversible in principle, many components of the gene batteries induced upon terminal differentiation are maintained throughout a cell's life. For example, muscle cells continuously express the myosin gene, and GABAergic neurons continuously express genes for GABA synthesis and transport. Maintaining gene expression patterns in the nervous system is a particular challenge given the non-renewing nature and therefore extensive life span of many neuronal cell types.

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