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Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2012 Jan;44(1):3-13. doi: 10.1093/abbs/gmr107.

Linking DNA replication to heterochromatin silencing and epigenetic inheritance.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Chromatin is organized into distinct functional domains. During mitotic cell division, both genetic information encoded in DNA sequence and epigenetic information embedded in chromatin structure must be faithfully duplicated. The inheritance of epigenetic states is critical in maintaining the genome integrity and gene expression state. In this review, we will discuss recent progress on how proteins known to be involved in DNA replication and DNA replication-coupled nucleosome assembly impact on the inheritance and maintenance of heterochromatin, a tightly compact chromatin structure that silences gene transcription. As heterochromatin is important in regulating gene expression and maintaining genome stability, understanding how heterochromatin states are inherited during S phase of the cell cycle is of fundamental importance.

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