Heterochromatin, Position Effect, and Genetic Silencing

Heterochromatin, Position Effect, and Genetic Silencing Genomes of higher eukaryotes consist of two types of chromatin: euchromatin and heterochromatin. Heterochromatin is densely packed material typically localized in telomeric and pericentric chromosome regions. Euchromatin transferred by chromosome rearrangements in the vicinity of heterochromatin is inactivated and acquires morphological properties of heterochromatin in the case of position effect variegation. One of the X chromosomes in mammal females and all paternal chromosome set in coccides become heterochromatic. The heterochromatic elements of the genome exhibit similar structural properties: genetic inactivation, compaction, late DNA replication at the S stage, and underrepresentation in somatic cells. The genetic inactivation and heterochromatin assembly are underlain by a specific genetic mechanism, silencing, which includes DNA methylation and posttranslational histone modification provided by the complex of nonhistone proteins. The state of silencing is inherited in cell generations. The same molecular mechanisms of silencing shared by all types of heterochromatic regions, be it unique or highly repetitive sequences, suggest the similar organization of these regions. No type of heterochromatin is a permanent structure as they all are formed at the strictly definite stages of early embryogenesis. Based on the bulk of evidence accumulated today, heterochromatin can be regarded as a morphological manifestation of genetic silencing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Russian Journal of Genetics Springer Journals

Heterochromatin, Position Effect, and Genetic Silencing

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Subject
Biomedicine; Human Genetics
ISSN
1022-7954
eISSN
1608-3369
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1022419506918
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Genomes of higher eukaryotes consist of two types of chromatin: euchromatin and heterochromatin. Heterochromatin is densely packed material typically localized in telomeric and pericentric chromosome regions. Euchromatin transferred by chromosome rearrangements in the vicinity of heterochromatin is inactivated and acquires morphological properties of heterochromatin in the case of position effect variegation. One of the X chromosomes in mammal females and all paternal chromosome set in coccides become heterochromatic. The heterochromatic elements of the genome exhibit similar structural properties: genetic inactivation, compaction, late DNA replication at the S stage, and underrepresentation in somatic cells. The genetic inactivation and heterochromatin assembly are underlain by a specific genetic mechanism, silencing, which includes DNA methylation and posttranslational histone modification provided by the complex of nonhistone proteins. The state of silencing is inherited in cell generations. The same molecular mechanisms of silencing shared by all types of heterochromatic regions, be it unique or highly repetitive sequences, suggest the similar organization of these regions. No type of heterochromatin is a permanent structure as they all are formed at the strictly definite stages of early embryogenesis. Based on the bulk of evidence accumulated today, heterochromatin can be regarded as a morphological manifestation of genetic silencing.

Journal

Russian Journal of GeneticsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

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