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Nucleus 2011 Jan 01;26:533-9. doi: 10.4161/nucl.2.6.17799.
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Epigenetic stability of repressed states involving the histone variant macroH2A revealed by nuclear transfer to Xenopus oocytes.

Pasque V , Halley-Stott RP , Gillich A , Garrett N , Gurdon JB .

How various epigenetic mechanisms restrict chromatin plasticity to determine the stability of repressed genes is poorly understood. Nuclear transfer to Xenopus oocytes induces the transcriptional reactivation of previously silenced genes. Recent work suggests that it can be used to analyze the epigenetic stability of repressed states. The notion that the epigenetic state of genes is an important determinant of the efficiency of nuclear reprogramming is supported by the differential reprogramming of given genes from different starting epigenetic configurations. After nuclear transfer, transcription from the inactive X chromosome of post-implantation-derived epiblast stem cells is reactivated. However, the same chromosome is resistant to reactivation when embryonic fibroblasts are used. Here, we discuss different kinds of evidence that link the histone variant macroH2A to the increased stability of repressed states. We focus on developmentally regulated X chromosome inactivation and repression of autosomal pluripotency genes, where macroH2A may help maintain the long-term stability of the differentiated state of somatic cells.

PubMed ID: 22064467
PMC ID: PMC3324342
Article link: Nucleus
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ighx macroh2a1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Agrelo, SATB1 defines the developmental context for gene silencing by Xist in lymphoma and embryonic cells. 2009, Pubmed