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RNAi hushes heterochromatin

Julie M Bailis and Susan L Forsburg*

Author Affiliations

Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

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Genome Biology 2002, 3:reviews1035-reviews1035.4  doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-12-reviews1035

Published: 28 November 2002


Repeated DNA elements and region-specific protein modifications combine within chromosomes to form a transcriptionally silent chromatin structure called heterochromatin. Recent work in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe reveals that RNA is also an integral component of silent heterochromatin, providing a new perspective on how heterochromatin is organized and maintained in eukaryotic cells.