Bookmarking

Bookmarking (also "gene bookmarking" or "mitotic bookmarking") refers to a potential mechanism of transmission of gene expression programs through cell division.

During mitosis, gene transcription is silenced and most transcription factors are removed from chromatin. The term bookmarking compares transcription to reading from a book. The pause in transcription during mitosis is like closing the book. "Molecular bookmarks" are the factors that allow transcription to resume in an orderly fashion in newborn cells following mitosis (when the book is re-opened).

The term bookmarking was originally coined to describe the non-compaction of some gene promoters during mitosis. More recently genome accessibility during interphase and mitosis has been directly compared on a genome-wide scale. While gene promoters tend to be better preserved than distal regulatory elements, substantial variation exists at individual sites.

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