PerspectiveMolecular Biology

A Higher Order of Silence

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Science  26 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5701, pp. 1484-1485
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106767

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It is well-established that compaction of chromatin affects gene expression by regulating the accessibility of DNA to factors that control gene expression. Although the three-dimensional structure of nucleosomes has been elucidated in exquisite detail, the next level of chromatin structure is still poorly understood. In their Perspective, Mohd-Sarip and Verrijzer discuss two new studies ( Dorigo et al. and Francis et al.) that shed light on how compaction of the nucleosomes into a higher order structure--a 30-nm chromatin fiber--contributes to the regulation of gene expression.