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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Apr;6(2):193-202.

Heterochromatin and gene regulation in Drosophila.

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Washington University, Department of Biology, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.


We have recently learned more about the biochemistry of heterochromatin and about how heterochromatic environments affect gene function. New findings have emphasized the distinctions between telomeric and pericentric heterochromatin in Drosophila and have suggested a mosaic structure within pericentric heterochromatin. Theories concerning the mechanism of inactivation of euchromatic genes in heterochromatic environments have been tested using transgenes inserted into heterochromatin. The current data support a competition/chromatin structure model, in which multiprotein repressor complexes compete with transcriptional activators to assemble an active or inactive chromatin structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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