Cellular Stage Directions

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Science  10 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5570, pp. 977
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5570.977m

As the cell progresses through the cell cycle, mechanisms must be present to allow the cell to exit one stage and progress to the next one. Ogawa et al. (p. 1132: see the Perspective by La Thangue) investigate the mechanism by which genes are turned off in the G0 stage by the repressor protein E2F-6. They found that E2F-6 exists in a large complex with other proteins, including several DNA binding factors, a histone methyltransferase, the transcription repressor HP1, and polycomb proteins. This multiprotein complex is targeted to E2F-6-responsive promoters in quiescent, but not G1, cells. As malignant tumor cells have lost the ability to enter the G0 stage, the elucidation of the mechanisms governing cell cycle-dependent gene expression may reveal important information about cell regulation.

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