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Scientists clarify a mechanism of epigenetic inheritance
Date:4/22/2008

f part of the cell cycle when DNA is replicating. This result, Martienssen says, neatly accounts for the paradox about how silent heterochromatin can be transcribed [into interfering RNA], because its transcribed only in a narrow window of the cell cycle.

The researchers also found that RNAi varies strongly with temperature. They speculate that this variation is responsible for inherited traits such as vernalization, the well-known process by which certain plants must be exposed to low temperatures before they will flower. Indeed, Martienssen says, there is a whole slew of epigenetic phenomena that are sensitive to temperature.


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Contact: Jim Bono
bono@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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