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Heterochromatin and Euchromatin

  1. Joel C Eissenberg1,
  2. Sarah C R Elgin2

Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003844



How to Cite

Eissenberg, J. C. and Elgin, S. C. R. 2005. Heterochromatin and Euchromatin. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

  2. 2

    Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (17 FEB 2014)


Eukaryotes are characterized by the extensive packaging of their genomes, initially in a nucleosomal array, and further into higher order domains. Differential packaging is used as a mechanism of gene regulation, with stable silencing of large domains achieved by packaging the DNA into a heterochromatic structure.


  • heterochromatin;
  • euchromatin;
  • DNA methylation;
  • histone acetylation;
  • SIR2;
  • HP1