RNA Interference pp 185-209
A Role for RNAi in Heterochromatin Formation in Drosophila
Heterochromatin is a specialized form of DNA packaging that results in a transcriptionally inactive conformation. While much progress has been made in characterizing the heterochromatin structure biochemically and via its effects on genes and transgenes, very little is known about how heterochromatin formation is initiated. Recent evidence from the yeast Saccharomyces pombe suggests the involvement of the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery in heterochromatin formation, and in particular in the targeting of the heterochromatin machinery to specific sites in the genome. In this article, we review the evidence for an involvement of RNAi in heterochromatin formation in the model system Drosophila melanogaster. It appears that while there are numerous threads that connect heterochromatin formation and gene silencing with the RNAi pathways in Drosophila, a direct role for RNAi in particular in the targeting of heterochromatin formation is still lacking.
Enhancer of variegation
Histone 3 lysine 4
Histone 3 methylated at lysine 9
Heterochromatin protein 1
Long terminal repeat
Position effect variegation
Repeat associated small interfering RNA
RNA-induced silencing complex
RNA-induced transcriptional silencing
Small interfering RNA
Suppressor of variegation
Vasa intronic gene
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