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Citation
Saha, P., Mishra, R.K. (2019). Heterochromatic hues of transcription-the diverse roles of noncoding transcripts from constitutive heterochromatin.  FEBS J. 286(23): 4626--4641.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0244222
Publication Type
Review
Abstract

Constitutive heterochromatin has been canonically considered as transcriptionally inert chromosomal regions, which silences the repeats and transposable elements (TEs), to preserve genomic integrity. However, several studies from the last few decades show that centromeric and pericentromeric regions also get transcribed and these transcripts are involved in multiple cellular processes. Regulation of such spatially and temporally controlled transcription and their relevance to heterochromatin function have emerged as an active area of research in chromatin biology. Here, we review the myriad of roles of noncoding transcripts from the constitutive heterochromatin in the establishment and maintenance of heterochromatin, kinetochore assembly, germline epigenome maintenance, early development, and diseases. Contrary to general expectations, there are active protein-coding genes in the heterochromatin although the regulatory mechanisms of their expression are largely unknown. We propose plausible hypotheses to explain heterochromatic gene expression using Drosophila melanogaster as a model, and discuss the evolutionary significance of these transcripts in the context of Drosophilid speciation. Such analyses offer insights into the regulatory pathways and functions of heterochromatic transcripts which open new avenues for further investigation.

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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    FEBS J.
    Title
    FEBS Journal
    Publication Year
    2005-
    ISBN/ISSN
    1742-464X
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