SINEsin mammalian genomes can serve as additional signals in formation of facultative heterochromatin

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Using computer-based methods, we determined the global distribution of short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) on human and mouse X chromosomes. It was shown that this distribution was similar to the distribution of CpG islands and genes, but was different from the distribution of LINE1 elements. Since SINEs (human Alu and mouse B2) may have binding sites for Polycomb protein YY1, we suggest that these repeats can serve as additional signals (“boosters”) in Polycomb-dependent silencing of gene-rich segments during X inactivation.

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