Bookmarking the genome: maintenance of epigenetic information

J Biol Chem. 2011 May 27;286(21):18355-61. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R110.197061. Epub 2011 Mar 24.


Mitotic inheritance of gene function is obligatory to sustain biological control. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms are linked to transmission of cell fate, lineage commitment, and maintenance of cellular phenotype in progeny cells. Mechanisms of epigenetic memory include gene silencing by DNA methylation, transcriptional regulation by histone modifications, regulation of gene expression by noncoding small RNA molecules, and retention of regulatory machinery on target gene loci for activation and repression. We will focus on the regulatory implications of epigenetic memory for physiological control and for the onset and progression of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / physiology*
  • Gene Silencing / physiology*
  • Genome, Human / physiology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Histones