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EPIGENETICS

Neutral epigenetic inheritance: being prepared for future generations

Epigenetic memory of silent chromatin often requires robust feedback loops between factors processing small non-coding RNAs and enzymes involved in heterochromatin assembly. A study published in Molecular Cell now demonstrates that these feedback loops can persist in a phenotypically neutral state even when gene expression is reactivated, and that they maintain the potential to reinstall heterochromatin in later generations when conditions change.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Sigurd Braun.

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Fig. 1: Models for the establishment and inheritance of epialleles.