Mitotic bookmarking of formerly active genes: Keeping epigenetic memories from fading

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43 Scopus citations


In order for cell lineages to be maintained, daughter cells must have the same patterns of gene expression as the cells from which they were divided so that they can have the same phenotypes. However, during mitosis transcription ceases, chromosomal DNA is compacted, and most sequence-specific binding factors dissociate from DNA, making it difficult to understand how the "memory" of gene expression patterns is remembered and propagated to daughter cells. The process of remembering patterns of active gene expression during mitosis for transmission to daughter cells is called gene bookmarking. Here we discuss current knowledge concerning the factors and mechanisms involved in mediating gene bookmarking, including recent results on the mechanism by which the general transcription factor TBP participates in the mitotic bookmarking of formerly active genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-823
Number of pages6
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We apologize to colleagues whose work we could not cite because of space considerations. We would like to thank members of the laboratory and department for insightful discussions concerning gene bookmarking, and acknowledge the support of NIH grant GM64606 to K.D.S.


  • Active gene memory
  • Bookmarking
  • Condensin, mitosis
  • Epigenetics
  • HSF2
  • Histone modification
  • Hsp70
  • PP2A
  • TBP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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